Everything Must Go – DVD Review

This new Will Ferrell film is rather unfairly going straight to DVD in the UK, deemed unworthy of a cinematic release, presumably for financial reasons. Perhaps American audiences were surprised, buying into Ferrell as the crazed idiot of Ron Burgundy and Chazz Michael Michaels as opposed to the much more restrained actor as seen in Stranger Than Fiction. They would have been greeted with a gentle drama with moments of light comedy, but very little in the way of wacky rages or fights with tridents and a guy on fire. And it’s doing this nice film a disservice to expect such comedy, Ferrell no doubt ruing his usual typecasting.

Admittedly there is very little here that is profound, new or revelatory. The bushy haired funny man is decent (although the aforementioned Stranger Than Fiction remains the only film in which he really stretches himself), and he’s ably backed up by Rebecca Hall as his lonely neighbour across the road, Christopher Jordan Wallace as the young boy Kenny who helps him sell all his stuff, and Michael Pena as his alcoholics anonymous sponsor. That’s right, our lead is an alcoholic struggling to overcome this illness which has lost him his job and his wife. The film is almost as downbeat as that sounds, a rather sad look at a man whose life has fallen apart (interestingly, we never actually see his wife).

The strongest aspect of the film is the relationship between Ferrell’s Nick and Wallace’s Kenny. Ferrell teaches the kid about marketing, baseball and yo’ momma jokes. It’s here that, due to the absent wife, the emotional core of the film lies. It’s a shame, then, that director Dan Rush underplays it a little too much, pushing an awkward Indie Movie vibe to avoid the cliched Hollywood ‘bad man becomes good influence’ trope. There’s very little in terms of event or interest, it just rolls along gently, never boring yet never truly engaging.

That’s representative of the film as a whole. You’d be hard pushed to find anyone that will hate this film but similarly it will garner very few adoring fans. It’s a nice distraction, a happy 97 minutes with a story that goes nowhere and an ending that undersells the build up, but it’s very likely that you will come away from this remembering it in detail. It’s a lot, lot better than many other Will Ferrell films, and its a shame that some of his stupidest comedies get wider releases than this interesting drama, but it’s unlikely to stick with you after the credits have rolled.

About The Author

Writer

Nat (or Nathanael as he calls himself when he wants to sound a bit classier) is a student based in Edinburgh who watches far too many animated films for a guy his age. He even has a blog. dedicated to the subject. When he's not doing that, he's the film editor of The Journal, Edinburgh and a committed member of King's Church Edinburgh. He likes Terrence Malick far, far too much.

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