EVERYTHING MUST GO
Running Time: 97 minutes
Cast: Will Ferrell, Rebecca Hall, Laura Dern
Director: Dan Rush
Screenplay: Dan Rush – based on a story by Raymond Carver
Cinematography: Benjamin Echazaretta
Based on a four page short story by Raymond Carver, Everything Must Go showcases Will Ferrell’s dramatic side. He plays Nick Halsey, a sales executive who is fired after one too many drunken incidents on the job. After leaving his parting gift- a Swiss army knife – in his boss’s tire, he stocks up on beer and heads home. When he gets there, he finds his belongings strewn across the lawn, the locks and alarm codes changed, and his wife gone. All he wants is a drink.
After consuming his dozen beers, Nick collapses into his favorite armchair on the lawn, and sleeps.
The neighbors are, for obvious reasons, not pleased to find this drunken man living on his lawn in plain view. The cops are called, but Nick manages to get a respite because his AA sponsor is a cop. He’s told he can keep his stuff there for 3 days under the auspices of a yard sale.
With the help of a latch-key kid from down the road, Nick sets up his yard sale, guiding his young protégé in the art of sales. The kid is good, and soon Nick finds that he can let go of his possessions, that without them, he can free himself from the life he’s been trapped in.
This is a subtly funny film with wonderful moments. A scene in which Nick goes to visit an old high-school friend is achingly poignant as both recognize that they have not become the people everyone expected them to. The relationship between Nick and his pregnant neighbor, and with the aimless Kenny are both finely drawn and complex, hinting at things that never quite come to fruition. Ferrell’s usual machine-gun pace is languid here, drawn out to an almost glacial pace, but this just heightens the dramatic possibilities of this man’s plight.
I liked the fact this film didn’t make the obvious choices. Relationships do not pan out the way you would expect, and the ending is anything but Hollywood.