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Film Review: Will Ferrell Seeks Recovery in ‘Everything Must Go’

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CHICAGO – Alcohol mixed with the American Dream sometimes becomes a destructive chemistry. With every individual’s reaction to ethyl alcohol like a fingerprint, the general image of the party animal can easily morph into what John Cheever called ‘The Sorrows of Gin.” These sorrows are explored through Will Ferrell in “Everything Must Go.”

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 3.5/5.0
Rating: 3.5/5.0

Ferrell puts on his every man suit as he dies as a salesman. His performance is stoic, almost ironic, and the rest of his character’s world catches up to it in various reactive ways. The wonder of the film is that it has a marquee star demonstrating the wages of excessive sin, a subject that is not usually explored in the context of the half-million-per-home suburban streets.

Nick (Will Ferrell) is fired from his lucrative sales job because he has fallen off the wagon and embarrassed himself at a company celebration. He reacts to this firing by immediately turning to destruction (tire slashing) and drinking. As he seeks refuge at home, he arrives to find his locks have been changed and his possessions strewn upon the yard. His wife has left him.

Faced with the total bottom of his life, he oddly stakes a claim in a big leather chair on the lawn. This draws attention from his Alcoholics Anonymous sponsor, Frank (Michael Peña), a cop who helps him get a summons for a yard sale, meaning he has three days to figure out what to do. The African American son of a neighborhood caregiver, Kenny (Christopher Jordan Wallace), also comes into Nick’s radar, and he hires the 13-year old to help him sort out the yard sale.

This begins a series or events that may or may not lead to Nick’s redemption. Along the way he will encounter a new person on his block (Rebecca Hall), which will remind him of what he hadn’t faced up to with his own wife. He also explores his past by visiting an old high school classmate (Laura Dern) and exposing the hypocrisy of a hated neighbor (Stephen Root). But primarily, the yard sale beckons and his burden has the potential to be lightened.

”Everything Must Go” has a limited release in Chicago and elsewhere on May 13th. See local listings for show times and theaters. Featuring Will Ferrell, Rebecca Hall, Laura Dern, Michael Peña, Stephen Root and Christopher Jordan Wallace. Written and directed by Dan Rush. Rated “R”

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “Everything Must Go”

He Can Help: Will Ferrell (Nick) and Christopher Jordan Wallace (Kenny) in ‘Everything Must Go’
He Can Help: Will Ferrell (Nick) and Christopher Jordan Wallace (Kenny) in ‘Everything Must Go’
Photo credit: Roadside Attractions

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “Everything Must Go”

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