Mighty Fine (2012)

R  |   |  Comedy, Drama  |  25 May 2012 (USA)
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Ratings: 4.9/10 from 267 users   Metascore: 42/100
Reviews: 18 user | 15 critic | 10 from Metacritic.com

Joe Fine moves his family from Brooklyn to New Orleans, where his dreams and extravagance far exceed his means.


(as Debbie Goodstein-Rosenfeld)


(as Debbie Goodstein-Rosenfeld)
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Credited cast:
Joe Fine
Maddie Fine
Kent Jude Bernard ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Monica Acosta ...
Elvis Concert Goer
Erin Booth ...
High School Student
Beau Brasseaux ...
Restraunt customer (as Beau Brasso)
Edward J. Clare ...
High school student
Mr. Smith


Joe Fine moves his family from Brooklyn to New Orleans, where his dreams and extravagance far exceed his means.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A gefilte fish out of water story.


Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and brief nudity | See all certifications »


Official Sites:



Release Date:

25 May 2012 (USA)  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Joe Fine: I'll give you 10 bucks to finish your bowl. Better yet, I'll give you another 10 bucks to eat two pieces of fruit.
Stella Fine: Don't bribe her.
Joe Fine: To you, it's a bribe. To me, It's a long-term investment.
See more »

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User Reviews

Mighty, mighty, mighty, mighty, mighty fine
11 May 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Mighty Fine focuses on a Jewish-American family in the 1970's after they move from Brooklyn into a luxurious new home in New Orleans. The head of the family is Joe Fine, played by veteran actor and one of my favorite leading men Chazz Palminteri, accompanied by his wife Stella (Andie MacDowell), his oldest daughter Madie (Rainey Qualley), and his younger daughter Natalie (Jodelle Ferland). Joe and Stella are beyond excited for this new change - even Natalie, the young writer of the family holds some dearly strong optimism. The one who objects the most is Madie, who sees her father's allegedly kind gesture as an act of inexcusable selfishness as she had to drop everything, leave her friends, and now assimilate to a culture she doesn't remotely hold interest in.

Just when you think this takes over and becomes the facile plot-point of the film, the curve-ball is thrown. We see Joe's descent into madness, with stress at work boiling over his head, family disconnect, and bottled-up rage coming through like never before. He becomes verbally and physically abusive towards his wife and children, threatening violence, embellishing every little mistake, etc. All while Natalie captures her thoughts through diary entries.

Mighty Fine is a semi-autobiographical tale of writer/director Debbie Goodstein's childhood, which was surrounded by success with her writing and heartbreak with her father's mental instability. It's admirable to see that the film never seems to channel the lines of self-indulgence or self-satisfaction. It's surprisingly conducted on a small-scale and never seems overreaching. The film is so small-scale, at times, it feels like a TV pilot - a competent one, at that. We get to know the characters, we see their hardships, then when the credits finally role, we realize we wouldn't really mind seeing them again anytime soon.

However, at seventy-nine minutes, it feels as if Goldstein was handed the runtime prior to shooting and told to make a film that wouldn't go a minute over eighty. Mighty Fine seems to casually go about its runtime for the first forty to forty-five minutes, then rushes to include the plot-points of stress escalation, characters with mental states on the tipping point, suicidal thoughts, fights, etc in the last thirty minutes. The biggest problem is that this is all happening way too quickly, with certain little plot-strands being abandoned right after they're brought up.

Fortunately, Might Fine at least rebounds with its competence and gentle, well-articulated craft of storytelling and focus. The family is given a wide-range or interaction with each other, and Goldstein is essentially filming on an open range with several characters to look at, doing a fine job (or a mighty fine job) of giving them all their own time to shine. This is simple, genial fare, but it remains impressive given its lack of indulgence or mediocrity in tone.

Starring: Chazz Palminteri, Andie MacDowell, Rainey Qualley, and Jodelle Ferland. Directed by: Debbie Goldstein.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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