New on DVD on Sep. 6, 2011, comes actor Will Ferrell in a dark humored but serious role starring as Nick Hasley in “Everything Must Go.” The story is based off the short story “What Don’t You Dance?” by Raymond Carver and was distributed by Lionsgate and made with a small budget of $5 million.
Hasley is an alcoholic who relapses and loses his job. Typical of Murphy’s Law, “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.” Not only does Hasley lose his job, he comes to find all of his belongings on the front lawn of his house, credit cards and bank accounts frozen and all the locks to the doors and windows changed. Now, what seems like a fairly drama and angst-ridden film is filled with a lot of sarcastic and biting humor.
When an officer asks Hasley how much he’s had to drink one morning, Hasley calmly responds: “In my opinion, not enough.” It sets the tone for some sad, hard truths, which Ferrell spins with comedic charm and grace. Well known for his slapstick comedy, “Everything Must Go” rings a similar tone to another of his films, “Stranger Than Fiction.” From self-realization moments next to koi pond to Hasley being rudely woken by his lawn sprinklers, the film is filled with soft but amazing humor. Hilarious it seems is that Hasley airs his dirty laundry out for the public to see (not entirely by choice) and by doing so, far more of the private lives of his neighbors, tucked away in the safety of their four walls, is brought to the light of the audience (two of his neighbors enjoy a rather explicit game of dominatrix and dominator).
Co-star Christopher Jordan Wallace, who plays the young Kenny, made his first apperance in the 2009 film, “Notorious.” While young, Wallace shows serious potential in the role showing business smarts and emotional depth of a young boy who just happens to meet Hasley. Hasley is given five days to hold a yard sale to get rid of his possessions and in that time he does everything to avoid it. He spends what money he does have in his wallet on beer. Co-star Rebecca Hall carries her weight as the neighbor across the street that happens to move in right as Hasley is kicked out onto his lawn. Pregnant, she awaits her husband to move across the country to their new place in Arizona.