25 oct. 2011

My Review: Everything Must Go (8/10)


¨Do you know what the rate of success is for marriage when one person sobers up, but the other one doesn`t?¨

Will Ferrell stars in this fantastic comedy slash drama, but this isn’t the typical Ferrell comedy where we see him screaming all over the screen. This time he plays a quiet and sad alcoholic, and it`s perhaps one of his best performances to date. Everything Must Go was a really pleasant surprise for me; it reminded me a lot of 2008`s film The Visitor starring Richard Jenkins. Will Ferrell gives a very similar and quiet performance. Nothing really happens in the movie, but it`s the relationship between the characters that carries the film to a higher ground. This is Dan Rush`s first film as a director, and he really hits a home run with his debut film. He also adapted the screenplay from Raymond Carver`s short story ¨Why Don`t You Dance.¨ The dialogue in this movie is just great, and it really feels authentic. The actors also do a great job with the pauses; everything about this movie makes it fresh. The film is rather slow paced and focuses more on the drama and interactions between characters who end up bonding in unexpected ways. It also has very funny moments; although not the laugh out loud kind of humor, but more of a put a grind on your face kind of comedy. I didn’t know Ferrell had it in him to give a performance of this caliber without relying on his usual loud mouth role. This is the sort of guy we can identify with, and whose life seems to be unraveling right in front of us. So much potential gone down the drain due to a small mistake.

Will Ferrell plays a Sales Executive named Nick Halsey who at the beginning of the film is being fired from his job due to his problems with alcohol. He was a great worker, and seemed to be recovering from his drinking problem, but recently had a relapse when he travelled to Denver and decided to have a few drinks to celebrate an important sale. Word got out to the office in Arizona and they decided it was time to let Nick go. Without a job, now Nick arrives home only to discover that all his things are laying in the front yard of his house and his wife has changed the locks of the doors. Apparently in Denver he also slept with another woman and now his wife has kicked him out of the house. Nick decides to stay in his front yard sitting on his reclining chair and has no intention of moving out. Someone makes a complain and the police come to arrest him for disturbing the peace in the neighborhood, but his friend, Detective Frank Garcia  (Michael Peña), gets him a permit to stay in his front lawn for five days with the excuse that he is having a garage sale. During these days he befriends a young boy named Kenny (Christopher Jordan Wallace) who practically spends all day on his own. Nick hires him to help out with the sale and during that time they become friends. Nick teaches Kenny a thing or two about baseball. A new neighbor also has recently moved in the house in front of Nick`s; she introduces herself as Samantha (Rebecca Hall) and says she`s expecting a baby girl in a couple of months. Nick opens up to her about his problems and they being an interesting friendship.

Everything Must Go is a really interesting small film that will surely put a smile on your face as we see these authentic interactions between characters that probably under normal circumstances never would`ve befriended each other. The thing I enjoyed the most about this film was the realistic way in which each of these characters was portrayed; and the way the actors played them. Will Ferrell, Christopher Wallace, and Rebecca Hall (who I first came to love in Ben Affleck`s flick The Town) all give great performances and the success of the film relies entirely on them. The movie isn`t deep, it doesn’t try to be preachy either; it just focuses on these small relationships and lets us now that it`s never too late to start again. Will Ferrell should continue to accept interesting projects like this so he can prove that he is more than a one dimensional actor. I love his comedies, like Talladega Nights and Ron Burgundy, but it is great to see him in different roles as well proving he can be a serious actor as well. Director, Dan Rush took a huge risk by giving him the lead role, but the gamble paid off because he fit the role perfectly. This is a different kind of film, but I absolutely recommend it. I loved it.

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