Everything Must Go - 3 out of 5
Will Ferrell has come a long way since his days on that live television show on Saturday nights. I forget what that show is called. Ever since taking roles in such films as Winter Passing (which I highly recommend) and Stranger Than Fiction, we've seen a little bit of an evolution in the actor--but this evolution hasn't stopped him from doing such comedies like Step Brothers and Blazes of Glory. Everything Must Go lies somewhere in-between these two types of comedies Ferrell has done. It's not as serious as Passing and not as zany as something like Anchorman or Old School. However, this falling in the middle of the road for the film also caused the score I'm giving it and the overall entertainment factor to also fall right smack dab in the middle.
"Whoa, two dogs doing it!"
The film is about a successful white-collar man (played by Ferrell) who, right at the start of the movie, loses his job. Then, when he gets home, he finds his wife left, tossed his belongings onto the lawn, changed the locks and took off with barely a note to indicate her whereabouts. As the film reveals, Ferrell's character is a alcoholic and immediately turns to the drink to provide some relief but at this point, I can't blame him. I don't drink (never had a drop in my life) and if all the shit that rained down on him in the matter of a few hours happened to me, I would turn to some PBR's also. As the movie progresses, Ferrell's character starts to accept his fate, lets go of his old life and starts to sell all his belongings that rest on the grass of what use to be his and his wife's palace. You don't have to have a Ph. D in film to understand the metaphor the story is trying to make with the whole "out with the old" Ferrell's character goes through.
The U.S. Postal Service is just getting lazy.
Like I said earlier, Everything Must Go is just plain okay. It's vanilla ice cream in the Basket Robbins of Hollywood. While the movie isn't totally satisfying, it isn't a complete waste either--Heck, some people love vanilla. While the film does contain some mildly amusing moments, the film doesn't offer up much in the laugh department. Some wit and clever jokes pop up occasionally and gave me a giggle but as the story unfolds, the drama starts to overcome the comedy and the film starts to slow its pacing and begins to create a habit of dragging. By the time the credits are warming up, all that is funny is already gone and the film is firmly in the drama part of its "comedy/drama" genre. While comedies that like to take dramatic turns isn't a bad thing, the fact the film completely does away with its humor aspect and makes the story TOO heavy ends up hurting the overall momentum and, for some viewers (like my girlfriend) they may find themselves getting pretty damn bored.
This reaction may happen to some viewers.
For the most part, I enjoyed this movie. I was mildly entertained and though it got boring at points, it didn't get to the level where I wanted to turn it off and put on something else--and this has to do with the fact that Ferrell's character is both well written and well played. Aspects of the characters past and the prospects of his future kept me watching until it came time to fade to black. Aside from the story developing a nasty addiction to the movie drug called drag, my only other real complaint about the film was they fact they didn't utilize the talents of one of the film's co-stars--the man who can play anything; Stephen Root. Root is a hysterical and very talented man and his presence in the film is very small and he felt completely underutilized for this project. However, beyond these two complaints Everything Must Go is an alright film that has a great central character and tells an interesting story about a man who loses it all, only to find the strength to start all over. And there ya go, a sappy line to end my review that could easily be put on the movie poster for this one.