Looking for a shot at huge recognition in acting, Will Ferrell takes on a dramatic role in the film Everything Must Go. The deep seeded movie puts him in a setting far from his comical fame and he nails the character with aplomb. If you like drama that deals with personal problems, marriage difficulties or psychological hardships, then Everything Must Go has it all for you.
The story centers on Nick Porter (Will Ferrell) a salesman who after 16 years with his company gets fired due to his drinking problem. Arriving home he finds the house locks changed and all his belongings out on the front lawn. His downward spiral has hit a low point in his life and it’s at this moment that he chooses to take a stand. Organizing his office furniture, exercise equipment and other things he has accumulated in life, he decides to live on his front lawn. When he meets Samantha (Rebecca Hall), a pregnant woman who moves in across the street, and Kenny (Christopher Jordan Wallace) a young boy that’s willing to help, Nick starts to come to grips with his situation.
Ferrell gives a strong performance as the latent alcoholic who can’t seem to shrug the addiction. Under the direction of Dan Rush who adapted the film from a short story by Raymond Carver, Ferrell shows that arrogant comedy isn’t his only path to fame. The deep slow moving storyline of Everything Must Go could have surly tested the comedian’s ability to hold back a smirk in some scenes, (and there are probably several takes where he doesn’t) but Ferrell holds his own throughout.
His support cast does an exceptional job in light of the fact that Ferrell finds himself flying solo during most of the film. As Kenny a youngster who joins in to help Nick in spite of the circumstances, Wallace proves he can deliver with the best. Helping Nick on the chance he can make some money during his boring summer, Kenny finds out that even he can give a hand up.
If I had to point out a weakness in the film it would be the poor fleshing out of the character of Frank Garcia played by Michael Pena. Although a pivotal role in Nick’s alcohol rehabilitation and marital separation, Frank’s character gets treated more as a second thought than a major player.
The film is rated R for language and some sexual content. The use of alcohol is prevalent along with a scene of attempted robbery.
FINAL ANALYSIS: A good acting job does not a great film make. (C+)