With the current economic climate there appears to be a swell in the movies being released that deal with main characters coping with the loss of their jobs. EVERYTHING MUST GO is that same premise done with an indie personality but does not solely focus on soul crushing depression. The film does still treat the premise in a serious way but with an outlook of hope and light hearted fun.
Will Ferrell stars as Nick who has just lost his job after a series of problems stemming from his alcoholism. He returns home to find all of his belongings on the lawn and his wife has left and changed the locks on the house. It turns out Nick’s alcohol dependency has far reaching consequences not only at his job but with his marriage as well. Nick’s AA sponsor, Frank (Michael Pena), presents Nick with a permit to hold a three day yard sale to give him time to get his stuff together since he has no money and no place to live. Nick also begins a friendship with a neighbor just moving in, Samantha (Rebecca Hall) and a neighborhood kid, Jenny (Christopher Jordan Wallace) who helps him sell his belongings.
I will say one thing for EVERYTHING MUST GO- Pabst Blue Ribbon must have been the sole investor in the film because nearly every scene except towards the end there is a can either in Ferrell’s hand or on screen somewhere. Now realistically I realize this was the beer of choice for Ferrell’s alcoholic character, but still.
Based on pure entertainment value I can’t find much here in which to recommend EVERYTHING MUST GO. There are some decent jokes here and there and Will Ferrell is quite good, but there are no real memorable moments outside of a filming goof that reveals a camera man’s reflection in a bathroom mirror. As indie movies go this is decidedly indie, but the film does not push any boundaries or try anything new and I find that pretty disappointing given all the things that are good here.
Rebecca Hall is great as Ferrell’s pregnant neighbor, but for me this is the best I’ve seen out of Will Ferrell. This comes from someone that finds his goofball antics very tired and annoying where in EVERYTHING MUST GO Ferrell is extremely laid back and mellow. If I recommend the film to anyone it’d be to check out his performance alone as I really enjoyed him in almost every scene.
There are quite a few decent comedic moments and jokes but they take up a very small fraction of the film’s runtime. The tone is light hearted rather than doom and gloom even though the main character loses his job and wife right from the get go. However, given Farrell’s laid back and mellow personality the film feels much more dramatic than funny. As a whole I would describe the film more appropriately as a drama that just happens to have some funny moments.
Honestly, EVERYTHING MUST GO is a film I enjoyed almost all the way through on Ferrell’s performance, but when it was over all I felt was indifference. It’s the type of movie you can watch and enjoy for a while but forget just as soon as it’s over. I would steer Will Ferrell fans towards it because they’ll see anything he’s in but for people like me I’d tell to give it a chance cause it gives him a chance to do some real acting. There is a sense that the film tries to be heartfelt and come to some type of cathartic moment which it kind of does, but instead of really popping on screen all the chemistry fizzles out at the end.