By: Oberst von Berauscht (A Toast) –
After an embarrassing alcohol-related incident on a business trip leaves Nick Halsey (Will Ferrell) out of a job, he finds a note on his door, the locks changed, that his wife has left him, and his possessions scattered about the front lawn. His joint credit card and checking account also deactivated, he seizes this opportunity to spend his last few dollars on as much beer and beef jerky as he can carry home.
All in a day’s work for the MB Staff
First time filmmaker/screenwriter Dan Rush seems to understand the human condition better than many seasoned Directors.
Looking at you, ‘splosion man…
The people who populate Everything Must Go are well meaning, but are beset by critical flaws which cause them to be ostracized by “normal” society. Some of these flaws are of their own making; others are put upon them by nature, or simple bad luck.
The Yard Sale which Halsey holds in the film is a creative metaphor for letting go of personal baggage. At first, he is loath to lose his things, many of which hold some meaning, and many of which are simply “nice things”. He slowly realizes that much of what he’s collected all these years are memories unused, and frivolous. Only when he decides to take the Yard Sale seriously does he start to resolve his personal problems.
Will Ferrell is a comedian/actor who has played several different versions of the same self-deluded character throughout his career. It works very well for the most part because it fits with his comedic tendencies, but he has rarely had a chance to stretch his talents as a performer beyond that. Enter Everything Must Go, a dark comedy-drama where Ferrell delivers one of the saddest, most world-weary performances in recent cinema. Nick Halsey is an empty shell, having allowed his weakness for alcohol drown out everything good in his life. He hates what he’s become, but feels powerless. Over the course of the film, as he interacts with the people who populate his yard sale, he begins to find his self-respect. It is a tough role, but Ferrell is more than up to the task, delivering a career-best performance. It isn’t his first dramatic role, but it certainly is his most fully realized.
Honest filmmaking, with strong performances. If there is any film worth A Toast so far this year, this is it.
Bonus Drinking Game
Take a Drink: anytime Will Ferrell does
Down a Shot for everything Ferrell does that makes his life worse. Warning, this may kill you!