July 7, 2013

Everything Must Go

Dan Rush, 2010

Nick Halsey returns home from a not-so-good day at work to find all of his possessions on the front lawn of his house, with all of the locks changed. Realizing that his wife has left him, he decides to stay out on the front lawn continuing to drink beer hoping that the answers will come to him.

A lot of familiar faces and distinct P.B.R. product placement in this dramedy that is a nice change of pace for Will Ferrell. As one of the better comedic actors of this generation, it's refreshing to see Ferrell in a dramatic role. I've always had a theory that comedy actors do well in dramatic roles because of the built-in range they already possess. It's why Jim Carrey was so successful in the transition in dramatic roles like The Truman Show and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, and why Bill Murray also succeeded in films like Lost in Translation. 

Rush is effective at creating a film that has doesn't trip over itself with unnecessary story. It mostly focuses on Nick re-evaluating his life and wondering what got him to this point. Rush makes a statement about ones tendency to cling to material objects. Nick soon realizes that in order to move on, he has to let go of the Vinyl records and the George Foreman grill. Part of the letting go is aided by young neighbor boy Kenny Loftus (Christopher Jordan Wallace), and the dynamic that is created between the two is heart-warming and clearly therapeutic for both of them. The gorgeous Rebecca Hall (Vicky Christina Barcelona, The Town) appears in the film as Samantha, the new neighbor moving across the street, providing an ear to Nick during his outdoor stay. The belongings on the front lawn can also be a statement about the Surburbia gossip mill: window peeking and speculation over neighbors unhappy marriages. Nick fittingly makes a statement in the film about how everyone hides their baggage behind closed doors, hidden from the world. He claims that he is more honest because his baggage is out on the front lawn, for the world to see. The film doesn't try to be anything other than a hit rock bottom & pick yourself up piece, and although the twist at the end is a bit unnecessary... it's still an entertaining 90 minutes.

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