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Everything Must Go

A movie directed by Dan Rush

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A simple but enjoyable drama.

  • Sep 25, 2011
*** 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 to a whole other audience. I found it about as clever as I find his newest picture, which is smartly written for all its little imperfections. You won't find anything terribly memorable or deep here, but it allows us to see a comedy-regular in all new light. Hopefully, the film will gain Ferrell some new, much-deserved fans.

The film is an extension on an idea from a short story written by Raymond Carver, called "Why Don't You Dance?" The basic plot involves recovering alcoholic Nick (Ferrell); who, in the beginning of the story, loses his job to sheer incompetence. The poor guy reacts in anger and confusion. He doesn't know where his life will go without work. However, matters only get worse. He returns home to discover that his wife has left him, and she has conveniently thrown all of his stuff out on the front lawn. What's a guy to make of something like this? Nick drowns his sorrows in a solid number of beers and sleeps out on the front lawn; as his wife has locked the door to the house, and he cannot get in.

Nick must make a decision. He needs money. He needs to live. He needs more beer. Therefore, he chooses to sell everything on his lawn for a good price; and he attracts both criticism and admiration. One of his admirers is his new neighbor across the street, the lovely and attractive Samantha (Rebecca Hall), who treats him with compassion in spite of his strange new way of living. Nick also finds a friend and work partner in a young, chubby kid named Kenny (Christopher Jordan Wallace, in an immensely likable performance). Kenny will help Nick as long as he promises to teach the kid some baseball; as this is something that the young man definitely wishes to get into. The relationship between the two, over the few days that the film chronicles, is all too human, relatable, and touching. And it's a big part of why "Everything Must Go" is so good.

The film is consistently entertaining, and not in the way that most films starring Will Ferrell are. He shows new dimensions as Nick; and never for a second ventures into comedy. This proves that Ferrell is the real deal; a comedian at heart who also understands the tragedy that often comes with comedy, and when the sadness and melancholy is singled out, he's game. His performance here is dynamic, and he works well with his co-stars, one of them being Michael Pena, who is almost always fun to watch as long as he's well-used. You won't find any incredible, unique, one-of-a-kind dialogue or characters here. There have been other, perhaps even better films like this one before; and there will be many more than follow it. I have no problem with that. There are ultimately more disappointing, melodramatic dramas than there are sweet and honest ones. "Everything Must Go" deserves respect and appreciation for the amount of craft that went into making it engaging.

I know plenty of people who don't like Will Ferrell. This film is probably for them. It will allow them to see him in different ways; all which I've described already. This film works very well for what it is, and I can easily say that I enjoyed it. There's some good writing going on here, and such writing makes the characters and cast work as well as they do. This isn't a performance piece, as Ferrell doesn't try to chew up scenery even if sometimes he almost unintentionally does, so those who are turned off by such movies still might want to give this one a chance. Those expecting another silly, but amusing comedy from the leading man will be disappointed by how different and abrupt this new entry to the man's filmography is at heart, but then, there are those like me; who can appreciate it in spite of whatever flaws it contains within its being. This is a competent film, and I liked it for what it was. Is it one of the year's best? No, it is not. But is it a pleasant, human drama with more than a few clever laughs and believable drama? Yes, I would say so. It has more than most films in this genre do. For that, I think it does all that it wants to do; nothing more, nothing less.

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September 26, 2011
I think I may have made a mistake in skipping this one. You have piqued my interest....
More Everything Must Go reviews
review by . May 09, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
'Everything Must Go' 'Two Jews On Film' Don't Go For Will Farrell's New Dramady (Video)
'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 …
review by . January 15, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
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 …
Quick Tip by . May 18, 2011
Anyone interested in a little more insight into Will Ferrell's foray into dramatic acting should check out my interview with him for his latest project, EVERYTHING MUST GO.    http://blacksheepreviews.blogspot.com/2011/0...views-will-ferrell.html
About the reviewer
Ryan J. Marshall ()
Ranked #11
It's very likely that the only kind of reviews I'll ever post here are movie reviews. I'm very passionate about film; and at this point, it pretty much controls my life. Film gives us a purpose; … more
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