As soon as I finished watching Everything Must Go I had to Youtube the trailer because on the front of the DVD case the quote “sharply funny” was embedded along with “Ferrell has never been better”. These two quotes indicated to me that I would be watching a comedy and sure enough, the trailer makes Everything Must Go out to be a comedy drama. So I got all settled down, ready to laugh my head off at Will Ferrell doing some daft things… Everything Must Go should not be called a comedy.

Everything Must Go is more of an observation of five days into Nick Halsy’s (Will Ferrell) life; a small window which is enough to see his life be ruined. After losing his job for falling back into his alcohol addiction, Halsy returns home to find the locks on the door, gate and garage changed and everything he owns thrown out onto the front yard – this is the worst day of his life. Nick does nothing to change this and instead lives on his front yard until the police are called (who knew it was a crime to drink beer and have all your stuff on a front yard you have actually paid for?). Nick’s Alcoholics Anonymous sponsor, detective Frank Garcia (Michael Pena) informs him that the law states you can hold a yard sale for five days and so Nick decides to sell all of his belongings.

It’s a nice story and despite it not being a comedy as it is so wrongly advertised what you actually get is a real gripping character piece. Will Ferrell, one of the best comedy actors of his generation (if not all time), is successful because he can actually act and here is has to rely wholly on those skills rather than comedic actions or elements and it is a terrific performance. For the most part this is an independently Ferrell film but with a few minutes on screen from the likes of Rebecca Hall, Michael Pena and Christopher Jordan Wallace the acting is really top notch.

The film doesn’t really give you that happy ending you would hope for after the first twenty to thirty minutes pretty much force you to watch the self destruction of a human life as we know it and Everything Must Go does leave the ending open without the audience knowing if Nick is going to turn his life around for good or not. One thing is for certain though, his friendship that grows with Rebecca Hall’s character and the young boy Kenny (Wallace) are very believable and warming relationships in an otherwise low tone of a drama.

Everything Must Go is a slow burner and as I mentioned before it is very much a character study but if you give it a chance and can stick with it past the first fifteen/twenty minutes then you will enjoy the story of Nick Halsy. Ferrell’s performance is enough to keep the audience’s attention even if you would rather see him in something like Anchorman. This won’t go down as one of the best films ever and it won’t win any fans for it’s guessable plot twists but it does invoke sympathy and tells a very good story.

My Rating: 6/10.

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