Everything Must Go (R)

★★☆☆

The alcoholic son of an alcoholic, sales manager Nick Porter was born in a Raymond Carver short story. In this film, Will Ferrell brings him to life. It’s the story of a bad day that turns into a five-day blur. Nick gets canned. He comes home to find all his belongings on the front lawn. His wife has split. His neighbor, played by Rebecca Hall, wonders what’s up. The ensemble cast brings out something new in Ferrell, who shows a dramatic actor’s progression in flashes. While interesting, the results go only so far.

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Everything Must Go is benign comic Will Ferrell’s bid for respect as a serious actor. After a career dedicated to rotten movies, he seems to crave critical approval for at least trying to prove he can do something besides make dumb faces and rude noises. Unfortunately, like Jim Carrey, he faces the immaturity of an undemanding low-brow fan base that loves to see him make a fool of himself and wants nothing extra—no acting, no intelligence, nothing that (God forbid!) might be construed as good taste.

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