May 31, 2011

Movie Quickie: Everything Must Go

Those of you who like Will Ferrell in all of his over the top glory are not going to be happy with Everything Must Go. You see, in this movie Ferrell actually acts and brings some subtlety to his performance, it is much more Stranger Than Fiction than Step Brothers. This performance actually reminds us that Will Ferrell actually is a talented big screen performer, it is just that he does not always pick the right roles that test his talents (not that I don't enjoy the occasional dose of Ferrell wackiness). In any case, this is a movie that marries the arthouse with the mainstream and is moderately successful,

You see,  Everything Must Go is a character study of a man whose life has gone into free fall. It is his own fault and it is up to him to find his way out. What makes this study of a broken man all the more watchable and accessible is that it is told with a light hand and features the skills of Ferrell, yes, skills. So yes, the movie can be enjoyed by a wide audience while it goes about its story in a non-mainstream way.

Will Ferrell is Nick Halsey, a top salesman and a reformed alcoholic. Well, he was reformed but a relapse finds him out of a job, estranged from his wife and all of his possessions on the front lawn of his house (a house on which all of the locks have been changed. So, what does Nick do in the face of all of this? He looks for solace in the bottom of a bottle. Now, we all know that is not actually a solution to anything. What makes the movie entertaining is watching Nick move through stages of grief, hit rock bottom and in the bottoming out discovering what it is that he actually needs to do to move on with his life.

With the help of new neighbor Samantha (Rebecca Hall), in whom Nick sees a reflection of his own life, he finds he needs to go through a purging of the anchors that are holding him back. Quite literally, this means his stuff. So, Nick has a yard sale to go through the needed act of purging.

This is a good movie. Will Ferrell is intriguing as our main character. He has a great ability to be funny and convey genuine emotion that makes it sad that he doesn't do more work like this. While I was involved with  his journey, I could not help but feel like something was missing. The problem is I have no idea what it is, I just cannot put my finger on it but it certainly felt like something else belonged. Perhaps this is my fault, but it did drag the movie down about for me. Still, this is one well worth spending time with,


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