I promise that I am not choosing depressing movies to review from Netflix on purpose, it just keeps happening. Last week’s pick, World’s Greatest Dad, ended up being a funny but very depressing movie. This week’s pick, Everything Must Go, which I found on instant queue, is equally depressing and not very funny at all.
Starring Will Ferrell as a recovering alcoholic, the film starts by ruining Nick Halsey’s life. Not only is he fired but when he returns home he finds everything he owns on the front lawn and all the doors and locks in his house changed. When his wife decided to leave him, she also froze his assets and canceled his cell phone leaving Nick homeless and phoneless. When Ned’s old company takes his car he has no choice but to live on his front lawn. After losing everything important in his life, Nick turns his back on six months of sobriety and turns to drinking. It doesn’t take long for the police to come and attempt to remove him from his front lawn but detective Frank Garcia (Michael Pena), Nick’s sponsor, finds him a loophole. A resident is allowed to hold a yard sale for up to a certain number of days. Befriending a neighborhood kid, Kenny Loftus (Christopher Jordan Wallace), and his new neighbor, Samantha (Rebecca Hall), Nick begins the depressing task of selling everything he owns and putting his life back together.
Do not think that this movie is going to have scenes of Frank the Tank (Ferrell’s drunken persona from Old School) hilariously going through the Quad and up to the gymnasium. Nick is much more like Harold Crick, Ferrell’s Stranger Than Fiction character. Nick is shy, quiet, depressing and fairly antisocial. I’ve always like Ferrell in his serious roles, Stranger Than Fiction being my favorite Ferrell film, and this movie does not disappoint. Ferrell plays the character perfectly, attempting to remain as calm and aloof as he can while his world disintegrates. He shows that he has real skill during a number of different break down scenes, especially the scene where he runs out of alcohol and money. If it’s possible for a character to break the audience’s heart more than Nick it has to be Kenny. The young boy seems to be an outcast in school with no friends to speak of and no real family to watch him. Trying to form a friendship with the broken Nick, Kenny gives the film the majority of its feel good moments as he makes a different in Nick’s and Nick manages to make a difference in his. The moments are quickly overshadowed however by yet another depressing and heartbreaking moment, moments that never really stop.
Overall I give this film a 7 out of 10. At its core, the film is about finding a way, any way, to cope with loss and move on with life when things go wrong. The film is really just about a man’s life and how he is dealing with the hardships in it. I had a tough time with the ending of the film because there is no real resolution, the film just kind of ends, making use wonder what the next chapter of Nick’s life holds for him. Though I didn’t like the ending immediately, the more I think about it the more I realize that it is perfect. There isn’t necessarily a resolution to every moment in life. Life just continues to move and flow. Nick’s life, even after all his hardships, is going to continue and where it continues to doesn’t matter. What does matter is how Nick dealt with the loss he suffered in the film and what he learned from that loss.