Believe it or not, there is not a single Will Ferrell “screaming at the top of his lungs” joke in this entire film…! I mean, there were even a couple of those in Stranger Than Fiction… but none here…
I was expecting more of a comedy when I walked into the theater to see Everything Must Go. It is far from a comedy. It’s like 80% serious, 20% comedy. That’s not a bad thing.
Based on the trailer, I thought this was going to be a quirky indie film about Will Ferrell setting up shop on his lawn. Maybe like a 75% comedy/25% drama mix. What the trailer doesn’t indicate is the film’s biggest theme: the battle with alcoholism. And trust me, it is the central theme. And it’s not done in a goofing manner, where Will Ferrell gets drunk and chews up scenery. This is a depressing movie. But it’s done in such a realistic way, and with probably the best performance ever out of Mr. Ferrell, that it becomes a really good film.
Like I said earlier with the comedy ratios, there are some laughs, and they are pretty good laughs. But it gets established very early the type of movie this really is, so the jokes are almost a welcome relief from the uncomfortable nature of Nick’s struggles. It is the kind of movie that just keeps repeatedly shitting on its main character up until the end, and that could turn some people off. But I thought the whole thing felt very real, and done with respect for the characters, despite how low they sink.
As far as movies go about hitting bottom, staying there for a while, and struggling to find a way up, Everything Must Go is a nice little film.
8 out of 10