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Digesting the lowest rung of pop culture so you don't have to!
I have a love/hate relationship Will Ferrell. He can be very, very funny, but his shtick of the man-child has gotten really, really old by now. This is what irritates me about him. However, Will Ferrell can also be a very good dramatic actor when he chooses to be (and I wish he chose this more often). Everything Must Go is proof of that. He steps out of his comfort zone demonstrates his range with subtly and nuance by playing an alcoholic who has hit rock bottom.
Unfortunately (and perhaps surprisingly), Ferrell’s performance is really the only positive thing I can say about the movie. Everything Must Go isn’t necessary a bad movie. It is competently made and well acted (particularly Ferrell and his child co-star Christopher C.J. Wallace). It also happens to be incredibly dull.
The characters are interesting and developed well, but they are not given anything all that interesting to do. The struggles of Ferrell’s character are set-up very well, but there really isn’t any follow-through nor credible resolution. While things resolve themselves as one would likely expect, we never see any definitive that break-through that I could buy into given what is revealed about his past attempts to turn things around.
Part of the dullness of the film is that the pacing is very slow. Honestly, the film almost feels like a mainstream film tried to appeal to the independent market or an indi-film trying to go mainstream. Either way, it doesn’t work.
Critics seemed to really favor Everything Must Go when it was released last May. I can understand that as the film has some fantastic performances. If you look beyond the performances, however, you’ll find that there really isn’t all that much there.