Comedic genius Will Ferrell has decided to try his hand at drama. In Everything Must Go he takes on a complex and painful film that involves loss and self-discovery. And while most of us would shun the idea, Ferrell delivers a believable Bill Murray-style character performance.
PLOT: When an alcoholic relapses, causing him to lose his wife and his job, he holds a yard sale on his front lawn in an attempt to start over. A new neighbor might be the key to his return to form.
DIRECTOR: Dan Rush
CAST: Will Ferrell, Rebecca Hall and Christopher Jordan Wallace
AGE RESTRICTION: PG13 (language and one awkward sex scene)
Ferrell plays Nick Halsey, a depressed alcoholic, who arrives home after being fired from his job only to find all his belongings spread across his front lawn. On the front door he finds a note from his wife informing him that she has decided to leave. The news sends Nick into a deeper state of depression and bewilderment, causing him to fall even harder into drinking. In a fit of self-pity he decides to set up camp on his front lawn, where he lives, eats, sleeps and eventually starts a yard sale. Just as he is about to hit rock bottom he develops a strange friendship with a lonely teenager, Kenny (Christopher C.J. Wallace, son of the late Notorious B.I.G) and a pregnant neighbour, Samantha (Rebecca Hall).
There is a tendency for actors to cross over into more serious roles as their careers develop. We’ve seen it all too often before. Robin Williams, Jim Carrey and Adam Sandler have all ventured down the path, in hopes of winning an Oscar nomination or two. Ferrell shows off some excellent depth, embodying his role, shrugging off all of his comical “over-acting” bits, carefully restraining himself.
Anyone who is looking for laugh out loud moments probably won’t find many here. Instead you will find a beautiful story about a man battling an addiction in order to find out who he really is. “Do the things you own, end up owning you?” is the question echoed throughout the film.
To sum it all up; Everything Must Go is an honest, sometimes awkwardly funny, but ultimately moving film that is anchored by a really good cast. While it remains predictable, and the subplots even seem redundant, viewers will connect with the humanity at the heart of the story.