129. Everything must go (2010)

I’ll take it

8/10
Directed by: Dan Rush
Written by: Dan Rush, Raymond Carver (short story “Why Don’t You Dance”)
Starring: Will Ferrell, Rebecca Hall and Christopher Jordan Wallace

Nick (Ferrell) loses his job. When he gets home, he discovers his wife has thrown all of his possessions out onto the front lawn, changed the locks to the house and closed his accounts. It sounds like a pretty routine situation set-up for any comedy, and considering it stars Will Ferrell, we might expect some ridiculous outcomes. Everything Must Go, however, gets rid of all those expectations as a heartwarming film that is a lot more subtle and clever with its humor.

SOLD

For one thing, Nick is a relapsed alcoholic. As the loss of his marriage, job and the rights to step into his own house ironically lead him back into the very habit that caused all of this to happen, Nick begins to see life through a very different perspective from his armchair on his lawn. With the help of a new neighbor, Samantha (Hall) and a sweet kid called Kenny (Wallace), Nick not only learns to let go of his old records, golf clubs and picture frames, but also past pain and family issues he has suppressed for so long.

In the film, Nick has a set of rules that make for a great businessman – rule number three being, “Go the extra yard.” While Everything Must Go could have relied on Ferrell’s outrageous sense of humor and the laugh-out-loud comedy that has been attracting audiences recently, the film chooses to go the extra yard in extending a simple idea into a thoughtful and moving comedy. And even though Ferrell takes on a more serious role than what we’re used to, it isn’t difficult for the comedy-seasoned actor to make us laugh as the timing and subtlety of Everything Must Go perfectly fits the tone and mood of the film.

As Nick’s extensive transformation over the course of the film only relies on the space between his street and a convenience store, Everything Must Go is economical in its storytelling, relying simply on the interaction between Nick and his neighbors as a way of returning to Nick’s earlier hopes and relationships. With the capacity to move whilst simultaneously being funny, Everything Must Go doesn’t cheapen on its character construction and plot, making it worth a watch.

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