Will Ferrell (Anchorman
) plays Nick Halsey, a guy who gets fired from his job for his recent indiscretions on a business seminar in Denver. Whilst the details aren't clear, Nick - a former alcoholic - has most definitely relapsed and upon returning home finds the locks changed and all of his possessions strewn across his lawn. With his phone cancelled, car repossessed, accounts frozen and wife not taking his calls, he has little choice than to sit down in the middle of his years of accumulated junk; exer-bikes, skis, canoes and assorted memorabilia that it's clear he has absolutely no use for now.
His AA sponsor, homicide cop Frank Garcia (Michael Peña - Battle: Los Angeles
) says that he can't live on his front-lawn and the only way around it is to hold a yard sale. Whilst Nick has no intention of selling his belongings initially, as the buyers nibble away at his useless hoard he feels increasingly liberated, helped by local kid Kenny (Christopher Jordan Wallace).
Ferrell plays a deeply fractured-character whose heart is in the place with great flair. Gone are the silly man-child temper tantrums he is famed for and in it's place a deeper style of comedy of a man reduced to indifference by his situation. Wallace plays his emotional sounding board and as Nick wallows in his possessions, eventually some order appears. His new neighbour played by Rebecca Hall (The Town
) provides a bit more insight but it's no love affair. Peña's character is a bit-part at best and it's great to see Stephen Root from Office Space
make an appearance.
Extras include an audio commentary with director Dan Rush and actor Michael Peña. There is an "In Character" featurette with Will Ferrell, a behind-the-scenes featurette, and deleted scenes to accompany the main feature.
This film was based on the Raymond Carver short story Why Don't You Dance? and doesn't really widen the scope of the story and often you will feel that there is not a lot going on. But Everything Must Go has a lot of subtext as Nick liberates himself by liquidating all of those useless possessions his old life accrued and he realises that he is ready to move along. A touching tale, if a little too benign, but worth it for Ferrell's best performance in a while.