Everything Must Go review by Melissa Orcine - Cinema Paradiso
Nick Halsey (Will Ferrell) is a former drunk who just got fired from his job. To drown his sorrows, he buys lots of booze and heads home – only to find that his wife has left him, the locks have changed, their joint bank account is frozen, and all his possessions are strewn on their front lawn. What’s a lush-loser gut to do? Will Ferrell’s Nick decides to stay on his lawn, reclining on his La-Z-Boy chair, and boozing his way till he straightens out his life or gets evicted by the police.
Based on the short story ‘Why Don’t You Dance?’ by Raymond Carver, writer-director Dan Rush adapts it to the big screen as ‘Everything Must Go’, a dramedy where a drunk realizes that all the possessions he owns are the only company willing to stay and put up with him. This is a nice effort for Rush and especially for Will Ferrell, who has made a name for bungling idiots and lovable misogynistic leading men. It’s no surprise that Ferrell will dip his hand in drama; he did downplay his antics in ‘Stranger Than Fiction’, but as the case may be with comedians, it’s difficult to take them seriously when they act serious. Ferrell is a good actor, he can do both comedy and drama, but ‘Everything Must Go’ is not dramatic enough for his talents. Here’s to wishing him a better dramatic role next.
‘Everything Must Go’ however is charming. The people who show up at Nick’s front lawn are funny, weird, and at times caring. Nick’s former AA sponsor, a police officer, Frank (Michael Peña) wants him to get his act together or else he’ll book him. The pregnant neighbor Samantha (Rebecca Hall) is annoyed by Nick at first but soon finds someone to talk to as her husband is stationed far away.
Nick also befriends a bike-riding chubby kid named Kenny (Christopher Jordan Wallace) and in turn becomes his sales assistant, dispatching his wares on the lawn. With much tragedy comes a silver lining and ‘Everything Must Go’ wishes it to be true.