April 29, 2012

Everything Must Go

everything_must_goWill Ferrell has done several small indie films over his career and Everything Must Go is his latest. Anytime I see him on screen I want to laugh, but this is decidedly not a comedic role. He plays a successful sales executive whose entire world crumbles around him one day. He loses his job, he loses his wife, and heads back to the bottle.

There are a lot of things going on in this movie. I kind of latched onto a couple of them, and it turned out maybe those weren't what the movie was really about. Actually, I'm not sure what the movie was about, or what you were supposed to take away from it.

The entire premise of the film is based on the fact that all his stuff is on the front lawn when he comes home from being fired. He seems to feel like his identity is wrapped up in the stuff he owns, so he tires to protect it. I thought the movie would be about how he eventually realizes that his material possessions don't make him who he is. Over the course of the film we would see him come to terms with that and as the title implies, he would get rid of everything. The movie is about that. It just isn't only about that. There are a lot of other things intertwined with that core idea, and the whole thing got muddy in the second half.

I just finished watching it and I probably need to sit down and think about how all the aspects might work together to form a singular narrative, but right now it just seemed like a mess. That is not to say it isn't a good movie. Somebody with a different perspective on life might choose to latch on to another aspect of this man's plight and get a lot more out of it. I focused on the stuff; the materialism of his previous life. While he does overcome that, it wasn't clear how that aspect of the film related to a bunch of the other things.

Everything Must Go is a good movie, but it isn’t nearly as good as it could of been. It is always interesting to see Ferrell in a non-comedic role, and he is really good in this one. I enjoyed watching it, but it felt like something was missing. It felt somehow incomplete. I’m usually fine without a firm resolution, but this time I felt betrayed. I’d say see it, but don’t expect too much out of it.

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