Everything Must Go (2011)

Director: Dan Rush

Writer: Dan Rush

(Based the short story “Why Don’t You Dance” by Raymond Carver)

After seeing this and Stranger Than Fiction I really hope Ferrell does more dramatic/serious work.  I love the comedy stuff of course but it is kind of exciting to see someone do something different like this.  While I loved Stranger Than Fiction, Everything Must Go is just a decent little movie but still worth watching for the lead performance.

Ferrell plays Nick Halsey and when we first meet him he is being fired from his job.  It turns out he has a rather violent history with alcohol and it has reached the breaking point.  When he arrives home he discovers that his wife has locked him out of his house and put all of his things on the lawn.  With no where to go and no one to help him, defeated by life, he just stays on the lawn.  Eventually he sorts his things into a sort of living room and he spends the next couple days just sleeping and drinking.

Kenny, played by Christopher Wallace, a young black boy comes and the two become friends.  Now I understand it is good for Ferrell to have a foil, someone to play off of, but the wise beyond his years outcast kid becoming friends with an adult is something I am so sick of in small indie movies.  It has become so cute and trite that just seeing it hinted at in trailers makes me recoil.  It is like in the 90s when there was always a rapping/cursing grandmother.  ENOUGH!

So after a few day Halsey is informed by his cop friend/AA sponsor Frank (Michael Pena) that he can’t just live on his lawn, but he can turn it into a yard sale which will allow him to stay there for five days.  Nick, now unsure of his future and desperate to start over, starts selling everything he owns.

When I had heard the concept of the movie a year ago it sounded like it could certainly be a broad high concept comedy but what it turned out to be is something much more dramatic and grounded in reality.  Halsey is a pretty depressed and sad character going through pretty much everything heavy all in one week and it doesn’t lend itself to to many laughs.  But even considering what he is going through the movie feels overall a little too light.

Ferrell impressed me enough to recommend it.  I always enjoy seeing a comedic actor doing something besides what they’re known for and I would say so far this is his biggest step into the realm of the dramatic.  Check it out.

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About Jon Watches Movies

Watching a movie a day since January 1, 2011.
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