CinemaDave (cinemadave) wrote,

"Everything Must Go," Everybody must see

Will Ferrell makes the jump to more mature roles. Based on a Raymond Carver short story, "Everything Must Go" finds truth and humor in despair and pain.

Finishing my book, **The Adventures of Cinema Dave in the Florida Motion Picture World,** forced me to confront the many things I have accumulated in my life. The last chapter of my book presents a plan to eliminate the artifacts of my life, which is similar to the dilemma Will Ferrell's character faces in **Everything Must Go,**

The film begins with the termination of the 16 year year career of Nick (Ferrell). Despite being a champion salesman, Nick has a problem with alcohol and blackouts. When he returns home, the locks have been changed and his personal items have been left on the lawn by his future ex-wife. When his car is repossessed and his credit card is blocked, Nick becomes trapped on his own front yard.

With enough petty cash to purchase beer, Nick sits on his front yard and spies his new pregnant neighbor across the street and hires Kenny (Christopher Jordan Wallace) to watch his lawn when he needs a potty break. Despite coping with his absorb situation, Nick is harassed by his neighbor (Stephen Root) who contacts code enforcement. Fortunately for Nick, Detective Garcia (Michael Pena) is a sponsor from Alcoholics Anonymous.

Once Nick becomes stuck on the front lawn, **Everything Must Go** had the potential to become a boring bomb of a movie. Yet director Dan Rush's unfussy camera work allows the viewer to meet and greet Nick and his neighbors. Particularly affecting is Nick's relationship with the Kenny. At first Kenny is concerned about this black boy riding his bicycle in a predominately white neighborhood. This relationship grows as the front lawn disaster becomes an opportunity for a lawn sale. Within three days, Nick teaches Kenny the five laws of salesmanship.

Given his success as over-the-top characters like **Taladega Nights the Legend of Ricky Bobby** and **Ron Burgundy,** Will Ferrell gives his most controlled performance. As an alcoholic salesman, Ferrell has many opportunities to overact, the actor never gives in to the temptation. This discipline pays off in the stark setting, because the comedy becomes more humane.

**Everything Must Go** is based on a short story, *8Why Don't You Dance?** written by Raymond Carver, who died of cancer in 1988. Posthumously, Carver's work has produced two award nominated motion pictures on DVD, **Jinabyne** and **Short Cuts.** **Short Cuts** features an all star cast featuring Jack Lemon, Julianne Moore and is directed by the late Robert Altman. Raymond Carver's voice is strong in all three motion pictures.

For people seasoned by life, we realize that we must situations out of our control. It is how an individual acts, that defines their behavior and character. **Everything Must Go** features a personal journey, with humor and truthfulness.
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