Everything Must Go movie poster
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Everything Must Go movie poster

Everything Must Go Movie Review

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After a string of bad movies, Will Ferrell desperately needed to mix it up. Aside from voicing the title character in Megamind, Ferrell hasn't given audiences a truly entertaining movie since 2007's Blades of Glory, and even that doesn't rank among his best films. So, after four years of so-so (Step Brothers) to downright terrible (Land of the Lost and Semi-Pro), the A-list comedian did what any A-list comedian would do in his situation: he went serious.

Everything Must Go isn't fully serious, just like Adam Sandler's Punch Drunk Love wasn't fully serious. Or Jim Carrey's The Truman Show. But it isn't "sharply funny" as promoted on the DVD cover, nor is it meant to be.

Everything Must Go is about a marginally sober alcoholic who has suddenly lost everything: his job, his wife, his house and access to the $45,000 in his bank account. All he has left is the stuff his wife threw onto the front yard - and his front yard. Desperate for cash, the pathetic soul begins to sell his property - and ends up getting rid of much more than that.

Rebecca Hall, Laura Dern, Michael Peña and Christopher Jordan Wallace make up the supporting cast.

The movie, a drama with doses of humor, features a great performance by Will Ferrell where, for once, he plays someone other than Will Ferrell. This Ferrell is depressed, alcoholic and at times nasty, yet tender, vulnerable and lost, trying to find his way. The movie engages on an emotional level without being emotional; it deals with serious issues without being serious; and it's humorous without being funny.

It's what could happen to any of us, simply exaggerated and channeled into a story about a man and his lawn.

Everything Must Go's strengths are also its weaknesses. As interesting as it is, it doesn't have many lasting qualities. It isn't dramatic enough or funny enough to make an impact. A year from now, it'll be forgotten, even more so than Ferrell's shaky Stranger Than Fiction.

And yet for what it is, a showcase of Will Ferrell's talent beyond shouting comedy and a depiction of a man rediscovering himself, Everything Must Go is oddly satisfying, a quality movie that never attempts to do more than it's capable, doesn't try to be more than it needs to be. And for that reason, Everything Must Go is worth a viewing.

Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.

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