Nick Halsey (Will Ferrell) is having an incredibly, terrible, bad day. Despite being a model employee while on the job, he's cost the company money because of his alcoholism and after sixteen years is let go from his job. He comes home to find all of his belongings on the front lawn, the locks on the doors have been changed, and the garage key number altered. His wife has left him, leaving just a note and his stuff behind. His credit cards no longer work and his wife has blocked his access from his account at the bank. After being on the wagon for about six months, he completely falls off and gets drunk on lots and lots of beer. Later, his company car is taken by a repo man even though he was supposed to be able to keep it for a month. It is a really, really bad day. To top it off, at the end of the day, the police show up that night and try to arrest him for drinking and sleeping on his front yawn.
His AA sponsor Frank Garcia (Michael Pena) shows up to prevent the arrest. Frank informs Nick the next day that according to city regulations, a yard sale can last a total of three days so he's got three days to get all of his stuff off the lawn. At first, Nick doesn't know what to think or do. However, he ends up hiring a boy in the neighborhood, Kenny Loftus (Christopher Jordan Wallace) to help him make signs, organize his belongs, and sell his stuff. Along the way, Nick develops a friendship with his new neighbor across the street, Samantha (Rebecca Hall), a pregnant woman from New York who has moved to Arizona ahead of her husband.
Will Ferrell delivers a great performance as Nick Halsey. Ferrell is known for his comedy, but he's a great dramatic actor. He just doesn't have the opportunity to use those skills very often. If you're looking for a typical Will Ferrell movie, you should stay completely away from EVERYTHING MUST GO. There are comic elements, but this is not a comedy. The way Halsey is written, he's kind of creep. There is an internal rage within that comes out when one least expects it. For most of the movie, Halsey is drunk. He's also kind of a creep as illustrated by his open spying on his neighbors. In the hands of a lesser actor, Nick could easily have been an unlikeable creeper. Instead, Ferrell makes him a person that the audience actually cares about. The rest of the cast also gives solid performances, though I thought Pena's character of Frank Garcia seemed a little underdeveloped. This underdevelopment of Garcia can also be said about the entire movie.
EVERYTHING MUST GO is a good little movie with a lot of potential that is never realized. I enjoyed it, but I enjoy smaller, little films. I also enjoy quirky movies and though there are a few oddball things that happen in EVERYTHING MUST GO, it's just not quirky enough. The premise of the movie is taken from Raymond Carver's short story (4 pages) "Why Don't You Dance". Carver's stories are often short and usually don't make much sense. EVERYTHING MUST GO is more developed than that story, but it's just not developed enough.
The DVD special features include a commentary with writer/director Dan Rush and actor Michael Pena. The commentary is typical and doesn't really provide much new insight, but it does lack the self-congratulations that many DVD commentaries have. There are two short featurettes. One is entitled "In Character with Will Ferrell" that features various cast and crew members talking about what it was like to work with Ferrell on a film like this as well as Ferrell talking about his experience doing a project that wasn't a typical "Will Ferrell" movie. The other featurette is a behind-the –scenes edited hodge-podge. There are also a few deleted clips and scenes. There are a couple of these scenes that would have made the movie a little stronger, for instance the scene between Nick and the elderly vet next door or the scene where Nick calls a hooker so he can have someone to talk to. Lastly, there are the usual trailers for other "upcoming", "soon-to-released on DVD", and "now on DVD" movies.
*** out of **** "Everything Must Go" is a sweet, funny, and surprisingly engaging drama. Like most of its kind, it gets most of its laughs out of pure humanity, and succeeds due to the honesty in the performances of its cast. Here, you have an intriguing few performers; the star of the lot being Will Ferrell, who doesn't usually do drama. However, maybe you recall his film "Stranger Than Fiction". That, like this film, was different from what he usually does; yet it was appealing … more
'Everything Must Go' is based on a short story by Raymond Carver. The film is directed and adapted for the screen by Dan Rush and stars Will Ferrell as Nick Halsey, a man who's definitely on his way down. Nick is a career salesman who has always been on the top...but not anymore. The film opens with Nick being fired. If that isn't bad enough, Nick arrives home to find that his wife has changed the locks and thrown all his possessions out on the … more