Everything Must Go (2012) Directed by Dan Rush. With Will Ferrell, Rebecca Hall, Stephen Root, Christopher Jordan Wallace, Michael Pena and Laura Dern.
Will Ferrell stars as Nick Halsey in this drama-comedy about an alcoholic whose life has hit rock bottom. After he loses his job and returns home the same day to find that his wife has not only changed the locks on the house and ditched him, but has also scattered his worldly belongings across the front garden of their suburban home.
By Will Ferrell’s usual madcap standards, he’s very much intent on displaying a more sensitive side to his range here, and indeed, it’s a refreshingly likeable and often amusing performance. It’s a shame then, that the film struggles to fully maintain interest by tweaking up the schmaltz to a level that is never fully earned.
Director Dan Rush frames the pleasant surroundings very capably and the supporting players all do their bit, but the film isn’t strong enough on a dramatic or comedic level to escape the logic-defying plot holes that loom large throughout. The plethora of alternatives available to a man with all his stuff on his front lawn that are never even entertained might have gone excused had the film been shorter and slightly less plodding, but yes, you’ll wonder.
On the plus side, the relationship between Ferrell’s character and a young boy named Kenny (Christopher Wallace) brings a welcome degree of warmth. It’s the scenes between the pair that stand out as the films most significant, even though they do push the sickly-sweet button all too readily in the second half.
Overall, a very light and easy watch with an endearing turn from Will Ferrell. It has its moments, but is not something that’s destined to live long in the memory banks of anyone beyond those who made it. 2.5/5