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September 9, 2011
Review - " Everything Must Go "  -  (on DVD) By Roland Hansen
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Everything Must Go
Directed by: Dan Rush
Starring: Will Ferrell, Christopher Jordan Wallace, Rebecca Hall,
Michael Peña, Rosalie Michaels, Stephen Root, Laura Dern, Glenn
Howerton, Argos MacCallum, Todd Bryant

Nick Halsey (Will Ferrell) was at the top of his game as a salesman for
a large corporation. Carefully hidden away in middle management it
seemed like nothing would be able to touch him. If it wasn't for his very
real alcoholism, nothing would have. But, on a company trip to Denver,
Nick found himself drunk with a female co-worker. Now he's in trouble.

The movie opens with Nick, a man who's in the throes of a full-blown
mid-life crisis, has just found out that his crisis has gotten infinitely
worse. Not only has he lost his job and received, for his sixteen years
of service, a commemorative Swiss Army knife, but his wife has left him
amid the allegations that he's had an affair. Nick returns home to find
the locks on the house changed, and all of his stuff strewn across the
front lawn.

'Everything Must Go' tells the story of a man who lives on his front lawn
because he has no place to go. Instead of moving his stuff off the lawn,
Nick decides to live there. He pulls up his favorite chair, arranges his
collection of vinyl, and cooks burritos in a rotisserie cooker. Oh, and he
buys lots and lots of beer.

The Will Ferrell on display here is a little less 'Old School' and a little
more 'Stranger Than Fiction.' Ferrell can do drama but still retain a bit
of his unique brand of comedy. He plays Nick in a down-and-out loser
sort of way. What does an alcoholic do when he loses everything? He turns to booze. Only, Nick really isn't an angry drunk.
His anger is only manifest passive aggressively as he refuses to leave the lawn, even after the police show up and let him
know that it's illegal to live on your lawn.

Nick soon meets a neighborhood kid named Kenny (Christopher Jordan Wallace). They instantly hit it off and form an
unlikely bond. Their relationship never feels forced like many kid/adult relationships do in movies. Kenny isn't filled to the
brim with clever one-liners or beyond-his-years knowledge. He simply helps Nick forget about the dire straights he's in and in
turn Nick teaches Kenny a few things about baseball and salesmanship.

Nick decides to sell off his things one by one in a life-sized yard sale. He watches as bits and pieces of his life get carried
away by random strangers. Somehow it's cathartic watching his stuff move on to new homes. It's a way to forget the
all-too-real troubles that he finds himself in at the

'Everything Must Go' is easy to sit back and
watch because Ferrell is so effortlessly funny
while playing a man who's at the end of his rope.
He doesn't ham up the role too much. He gives
Nick an aloof sense of being where all he has
to do is pick up a beer can to drown his sorrows.
There are few classic Ferrell moments here, but
they're understated and usually limited to some
of his familiar facial expressions. One thing is for
sure though, funny man Ferrell in the right role,
can add a solid dramatic stamp to a movie.

I'm generally not a fan of Will Ferrell's brand of
comedy - but this one he plays straight and it
managed to strike just the right chord with me.
See it.