Phoenix-based sales expert Nick Halsey (Will Ferrell) is a somewhat functioning alcoholic who loses his job, his wife, and his home, all in a matter of minutes. He’s left with a front yard full of his belongings, which he slowly organizes into an outdoor living room with the help of copious amounts of PBR. It is here that he reflects upon his life with the help of some oddball neighbors: an insecure fat kid with an interest in baseball, a pretty New York City transplant with familial issues of her own, a secret sex fetishist. After a short period of reflection that includes home movies and yearbooks (the latter of which leads to a brief reunion with an ex-flame played by Laura Dern), Nick attempts a clean break from his problems and his shattered life by holding a yard sale. Some strange complications arise and Nick heads towards the bottom, but hopefully something will inspire him to stand strong.
The film has a charming indie feel, largely due to the sunny suburbs of Phoenix, but it’s ultimately a surprisingly light affair considering its subject matter. It’s a dark comedy that never gets as dark as it should while its humor, both dry and outrageous (see the sex fetishist mentioned above), never provokes more than an occasional chuckle. Or maybe it’s a light-hearted story of rebirth that just happens to feature an alcoholic. It’s an easy, harmless watch in either case.
Everything Must Go opens today at the Ritz Five.