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Everything Must Go

Everything Must Go

What She said:

She

Every good comedian eventually gets the itch to delve into darker waters, even Will Ferrell.  He's done it before and I'm certain that he will do it again at some point.  Everything Must Go was one of his explorations of the drama genre, although there are elements of humor in the movie.  On some levels, it works.  Although, overall I'd say it may have been a little too somber for me. 

Will Ferrell is a dude, Nick, who is down on his luck.  First, he's fired from his sales job after something controversial shakes down while he's away on a trip.  Then he comes come to find all of his possessions sitting on his front lawn, and the locks to the house changed.  Obviously, things are not well with the wifie.  All of the perils in his life may have a little something to do with the fact that he's a raging alcoholic.  It's unfortunate, but true.  Nick downs cheap beer throughout the entire movie.  It's a bit jarring to see if you've never been exposed to something like that. 

So, instead of packing up his stuff and finding an hotel, Nick, practically penniless, knows no better way to deal with his problems than to do nothing about them at all.  He just starts living on his lawn.  He seems to have everything he needs--a comfy chair, George Foreman Grill, and a mini fridge.  As you can imagine, the neighbors are not happy about this.  All except one lady, Samantha, who is new to the neighborhood, shun him.  The cops show up and tell him he either needs to host a yard sale, or they hauling him in to prison.  So, with the help of a neighborhood boy, Kenny, whom he befriends, Nick starts slowly selling his possessions, which challenges him to face his demons.

Everything Must Go

This is sort of your basic premise.  The movie really is about hitting rock bottom, emerging from that, and starting over by building new relationships.  Ferrell actually does a good job of selling the character. He's a sad, sad man.  I know there were actually times when I probably smiled or laughed a little at inappropriate moments because I was thinking back to some of Ferrell's other characters.  But this role is different for him, and you cannot forget that.  I'm not going to say that this film is void of all humor.  There definitely are some moments that you'll smirk at, but it's dark humor, and not the usual for an actor like Ferrell. 

I liked the relationship that developed between Nick and Kenny who comes around to help him sell stuff.  They each grow from the friendship that develops, although it's mostly one sided.  I would have liked to have seen this relationship stretched more, rather than have elements of the interaction between Nick and Samantha, who recently moved to the area.  It would have kept everything more innocent and pure.

My major gripe with this film was that I didn't feel enough really happened.  Plus, this movie is pretty much a total downer.  You really have to be in the mood to watch an alcoholic in action for two hours.  I was patient, but not exactly riveted.  I think this film was a good effort on Ferrell's behalf, but the content just wasn't there to let him go really far.

Thumbs half up.

 

What He said:

He

This isn’t Will Ferrell first attempt at a more serious role. Stranger Than Fiction – while still a comedy – is more of a drama than anything he’d ever done before. Even the comedic elements were different from his previous movies. It was by far the most “grown up” comedy he ever did. His work usually consists of stuff like this or this.  I liked Stranger Than Fiction, so when I saw her returned to a drama/comedy rather than his usual type of movie – which I also enjoy – I was eager to check it out.

Nick Halsey ( Ferrell) is a good salesman. He’s bad a just about everything else though. He’s an alcoholic, which negates the one thing he is good at, because his drinking has recently cost him his job. That’s not even the worst part of his job either. When he gets him he finds out that his wife has left him, locked him out of house, and put all of his belongings on the front lawn. She left him a Dear John letter breaking the news and explaining he is to take his things and leave.

Everything Must Go

Nick decides that he isn’t going anywhere and sets up camp on his lawn. And why not? All of his things are there anyway. Well apparently this isn’t legal and he is forced to go. He does, however, have five days until he has to leave, so he basically poses as if there is nothing wrong and he’s having a yard sale.

During the course of this time he meets new neighbor Samantha (Rebecca Hall). She is a pregnant, but her husband has not made the move yet. He’s still working and it doesn’t appear they really know what is next. They bought a new house in a completely new state, but he doesn’t appear to have a new job yet and is back on the east coast.

He also meets a kid named Kenny. Kenny’s (Christopher Wallace) mother is a caretaker of an elderly person, so he’s on his own a lot. He doesn’t appear to have a lot of friends and a guy living on his lawn will get your attention, so he begins to hang out with Nick.

I thought the interactions between Ferrell’s character and the other two were well-done. They each served a purpose and were there for him in a time when nobody else was. There was a chemistry that definitely felt genuine.

But the movie was lacking something and I can’t quite put my finger on it. I laughed at the funny parts, was appropriately depressed at some of the sadder parts, and as I mentioned above, generally liked the characters interactions with one another. I’m not even totally sure what it was that I felt was lacking, but I definitely felt it. There was something that stopped me from giving this the thumbs up. It didn’t feel like it came together as well as it should have. Plus, the movie tried really hard to stack the odds against Nick. So-much-so, you were aware just how much they were stacking the odds against him. It was a little much at times.

Rating: Thumbs half up.

This movie review was written for your reading pleasure on October 6, 2013.

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