DVD Review - Everything Must Go

Will Ferrell plays Nick Halsey, a man with a drinking problem who cheats on his wife and is locked out his house and has all his stuff thrown on the lawn. Nick's wife freezes his accounts, so he has no money and no where else to go. He decides to live on that lawn. His friend and sponsor, police detective Frank Garcia, played by Michael Peña (Crash and World Trade Center), tells him that to avoid getting into trouble he can hold a yard sale, which grants Nick a few days to reside on the lawn. Nick does so with the aid of a young, black kid named Kenny who wants to learn baseball. Across the street is lonely housewife named Samantha, played by Rebecca Hall (Vicky Cristina Barcelona and The Town) whom Nick takes a liking.

Ferrell is certainly more dramatic here than in most of his movies. He does infuse a tad bit of humor, which keeps things interesting. Unfortunately, this movie really doesn't have anywhere to go. Nothing is really learned or there isn't that much of a journey. Literally, Ferrell sits in a recliner on a lawn for most of this movie. Clearly, it's not exciting.

Based on a short story by Raymond Carver, written and directed by Dan Rush, Ferrell is given things to help pass the time, but nothing with real dramatic weight. The closest is a trip he makes to visit an old high school classmate, played briefly by Laura Dern (Rambling Rose and Jurassic Park), but it goes nowhere and is never mentioned again.

If this was supposed to be a struggle internally, it's one I never really felt. The filmmaker never shows us Nick's wife. We briefly hear from her, but pretty much all contact was cut off. There was no real understanding of what he did. Her actions seem a contrived overreaction. A conversation between Nick and his wife would have helped wonders. Without it, the whole time, I felt this disconnect from the movie.

Two Stars out of Five.
Rated R for language and some sexual content.
Running Time: 1 hr. and 37 mins.


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