Everything Must Go
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“Will Ferrell shines” (Detroit News) as Nick, a career salesman who loses his wife and his job in the worst day of his life. Faced with his life imploding, Nick puts it all on the line – or, rather, on the lawn – as he moves himself and all his possessions to his front yard. Based on the short story by Raymond Carver, Everything Must Go is “Will Ferrell as you’ve never seen him” (Rolling Stone) in this unflinching comedy about what happens after life falls apart.
Everything Must Go finds Will Ferrell in a serious mood. But unlike many comedians seeking to demonstrate their acting chops, Ferrell doesn't confuse seriousness with humorlessness; instead, he discovers humor and pathos intertwined. When Nick Halsey (Ferrell) lapses back into alcoholism, his life falls apart--he loses his corporate job and his wife not only leaves him, she throws all of his belongings on the front lawn of their Arizona home. Because the law allows yard sales to go on for five days, Nick starts living on the front lawn with the pretense that he's going to sell all his possessions. He hires a boy named Kenny (Christopher Jordan Wallace, son of Notorious BIG) to make signs and generally assist, paying him minimum wage plus baseball lessons. He reaches out to the neighbor across the street (Rebecca Hall, Please Give), argues with his sponsor (Michael Peña, Crash), and tracks down a friend from high school (Laura Dern) as he struggles to make sense of what's happened to him. That explains the plot; much harder to explain is why this movie is so emotionally rich. Ferrell's performance is superb, understated but fully developed--Nick is a fully realized person. The whole cast is perfectly in tune with each other, making every interaction a small marvel of human behavior. An excellent film debut by writer-director Dan Rush, based on a short story by Raymond Carver. --Bret Fetzer
• Audio commentary with director
• Will Ferrell featurette
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I can definitely see why this is categorized as a "Comedy-Drama", because there are some funny moments, but for the most part it touches on certain serious, relatable issues that some people face. I do feel like they could've cut down on the front lawn scenes a bit, and went into more detail about Ferrell's character background, rather than just his vices. By the end of the movie you forget that it's Will Ferrell playing this character, which is a good indication that he did a great job at selling his role in this.
Also Christopher Jordan Wallace and Rebecca Hall did a fantastic job as supporting actors as well.
I needed a good movie on a night like this, and this one was indeed a nice watch.
The acting is solid... the story line is depressing. I can't fault any of the actors... just the plot.
It is worth watching if you have a free afternoon and nothing in your list to watch already... but there is certainly better storylines out there to consume your time.
But I suppose that's the mark of a good story, it sucks you in - suspension of disbelief. I'm a sucker for Rebecca Hall (Is it my imagination or does Will Ferrell get some awesome female co-stars in his dramatic films? R. Hall, Maggie Gyllnhall, Rhada Mitchell!) so even her incredibly unlikely involvement with such a nut job neighbor is overlooked (by me) and I'm rooting for her to help fix Ferrell's character. Also a big fan of Michael Peña, made me interested in what his character was up to. And the heart of the movie, Kenny (Christopher Jordan Wallace).
Maybe it's more like a fairy tale, and I like fairy tales.