Thursday, September 15, 2011

Everything Must Go

You know I like Will Ferrell movies. I'd almost consider them guilty pleasures, except for the fact that the older I get, the less I accept that concept. I like what I like, and damned if I'm going to feel guilty about it.

Mini-rant aside, other than the fact that it stars Will Ferrell, EVERYTHING MUST GO is about as far as you can get from what most people think of as a Will Ferrell movie. Even more so than STRANGER THAN FICTION, EVERYTHING MUST GO is a low-key, serious film. It does have occasional laugh-out-loud moments, but the humor is much more black comedy than the silliness of most other Ferrell movies.

He plays Nick Halsey, a sales executive with a drinking problem who loses his job then comes home to find that his wife has left him, but only after tossing all of his stuff out on the lawn and changing the locks on their house. So, numbed by everything that's happened, Nick settles in to just live on his front lawn. In doing so he attracts the attention of the police, including a detective friend of his who advises him to call what he's doing a yard sale, otherwise they'll have to arrest him.

In the process of doing that, Nick meets people in the neighborhood he doesn't know well, or in some cases, at all, including a young pregnant woman who has just moved in across the street and a boy he winds up trying to mentor in a clumsy but well-meaning way. Yeah, everybody has emotional crises and winds up learning things, but the storylines don't play out in the sitcom-friendly ways you might expect. This is a movie that doesn't really go for the easy answers, with the end result that while it may not be as satisfying as it might have been, it's also more realistic.

Ferrell is excellent in this, and so is the rest of the cast. The movie ambles along, but if you're patient, it's very rewarding. I liked it a lot and highly recommend it. Just don't go into it expecting another TALLEDEGA NIGHTS (the after-the-closing-credits-bit of which is still one of the funniest things I've ever seen).


Randy Johnson said...

I'm on the other side of this one. i've never got Will Ferrell.

Prashant C. Trikannad said...

Me neither. I promised myself I'd seen the last of him after STEP BROTHERS.

Rick said...

I have never thought him to be funny. It amazes me that so many do. But then i never understood Bill Murray's appeal either.

James Reasoner said...

I'm perfectly happy to be in the minority here as far as Ferrell is concerned. I'll repeat, though, that this movie (and to a slightly lesser extent STRANGER THAN FICTION) are nothing like what you'd normally think of as Will Ferrell movies.

I find Bill Murray's movies really inconsistent. I like some of them and don't like others. Never been a big fan of his work, though, even when he was on SNL.

Cap'n Bob said...

I much prefer Murray to Ferrell. In fact, I prefer athlete's foot to Ferrell. Sorry, James.