Everything Must Go 

Will Ferrell tweaks type in an effective indie drama.

click to enlarge Laura Dern and Will Ferrell in Everything Must Go

Laura Dern and Will Ferrell in Everything Must Go

Much like Adam Sandler in Paul Thomas Anderson's Punch-Drunk Love, Will Ferrell's performance in the new indie drama Everything Must Go isn't a case of playing against type as much as tweaking it.

Adapted from the Raymond Carver short story "Why Don't You Dance," this first feature from writer-director Dan Rush casts Ferrell in a role that might the realistic flipside to his over-the-top Old School character, the drunk Frank the Tank.

Here Ferrell is Nick Halsey, a relapsing alcoholic who returns home after getting fired from his corporate job to find his belongings on the front lawn, the locks changed, and his wife gone. Soon he finds the couple's joint banking and credit card accounts cancelled too.

Nick takes up residence in the front lawn, sitting in an easy chair, working his way through six packs, and odd sight that catches the sympathetic but cautious eye of a new neighbor, a pregnant woman (played by Rebecca Hall) awaiting the delayed arrival of her husband.

Before long, Nick decides to turn his eviction into a yard sale, a high-concept gambit that provides the film's title and literalizes the notion of "taking inventory" of one's life. One item that pops up is an old high-school yearbook, which contains a now-poignant inscription from a former female classmate that provokes Nick to track her down. The woman, now a struggling single mom, is played, beautifully, by Laura Dern in a striking cameo doesn't go quite where most viewers will expect it to.

The Dern cameo fits a muted, effective drama nailed in place by a couple of subtle character revelation depth charges that arrive late and reorient the viewer's perspective on Nick and the film.

Ferrell finds a perfect balance here between letting his comedic bent tease out the absurdity of the situation while still playing the role straight.

Everything Must Go

Opening Friday, May 13th

Ridgeway Four

Keep the Flyer Free!

Always independent, always free (never a paywall),
the Memphis Flyer is your source for the best in local news and information.

Now we want to expand and enhance our work.
That's why we're asking you to join us as a Frequent Flyer member.

You'll get membership perks (find out more about those here) and help us continue to deliver the independent journalism you've come to expect.


Favorite

Speaking of Malco Ridgeway Four

Everything Must Go
Rated R · 100 min. · 2011
Official Site: www.everythingmustgo-themovie.com
Director: Dan Rush
Writer: Raymond Carver and Dan Rush
Producer: Marty Bowen and Wyck Godfrey
Cast: Rebecca Hall, Will Ferrell, Michael Peña, Laura Dern and Stephen Root

Trailer

Now Playing

Everything Must Go is not showing in any theaters in the area.

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
    • Vice

      Christian Bale transforms into Dick Cheney in this blackest of political comedies.
    • 2018: The Year In Film

      Chaos, power, and love at the multiplex

Blogs

News Blog

Memphis Tops TripSavvy's Travel Ranking

News Blog

New Plan Pushes Electric Vehicles in Tennessee

Beyond the Arc

Grizzlies, Memphis, and MLK Day: Still a Long Way to Go

Film/TV/Etc. Blog

Music Video Monday: John Kilzer

Beyond the Arc

Trade Deadline Forces Grizz into a Tough Gasol Decision

Tiger Blue

Tigers 83, SMU 61

Politics Beat Blog

In Brief Address, Governor Bill Lee Takes the Oath in Nashville

News Blog

Haslam Grants Clemency to 23 on Last Day

ADVERTISEMENT

More by Chris Herrington

  • Last Words

    In "Enough Said," James Gandolfini makes his last lead film role his best.
    • Sep 26, 2013
  • Masters of Sound

    New albums from two of Memphis’ most distinctive stylists.
    • Sep 19, 2013
  • Hayes Carll at the Hi-Tone

    • Sep 19, 2013
  • More »

Readers also liked…

ADVERTISEMENT
© 1996-2019

Contemporary Media
460 Tennessee Street, 2nd Floor | Memphis, TN 38103
Visit our other sites: Memphis Magazine | Memphis Parent | Inside Memphis Business
Powered by Foundation