The Deadpan Comedy Better Than Anyone Expected, Stream Now Without Netflix

By Robert Scucci | Published

everything must go

When the name Will Ferrell comes to mind, the first thing we want to do is quote Anchorman gratuitously because it’s one of the funniest movies of all time. Though it goes without question that Ferrell’s career is deeply rooted in the comedy genre, he’s not without serious dramatic chops that can be found in dramedieslike Stranger Than Fiction. After starring in a number of comedy films about washed up sports figures trying to reclaim their former glory in the early aughts, Ferrell took the full plunge into dramatic territory with 2010’s Everything Must Go, which is a surprisingly subdued role for our favorite resident funnyman to take on.

The Story

everything must go

Based on Raymond Carver’s 1978 short story “Why Don’t You Dance?,” Everything Must Go centers on Will Ferrell’s Nick Halsey, an alcoholic salesman at the lowest point in his life. After a six-month run of sobriety, Nick gets into trouble during a business trip where he gets blackout drunk and engages in questionable behavior with one of his female associates. Though Nick doesn’t remember the incident due to his inebriated state, it’s implied that he cheated on his wife while partying a little too hard.

Everything Must Go starts with Nick’s termination, but his life truly starts to fall apart when he arrives home. Tired of giving him second chances, Nick’s wife, Catherine, changes the locks to the house, and leaves all of his belongings on the front lawn for him to deal with. Nick resolves to sit in his recliner and get incredibly drunk, much to the chagrin of his local homeowners association and the police.

A Way Forward

everything must go

Desperate to sort out his personal affairs, Nick contacts his AA sponsor, Detective Frank Garcia (Michael Peña), who suggests he get a permit for a yard sale, which will allow him to stay on the property for a few more days as he figures out his life. Nick reluctantly recruits a young neighborhood boy named Kenny, who offers to help him sell off his most prized possessions if Nick teaches him how to play baseball. Nick, unable to get into his house, obliges and Everything Must Go becomes a self-exploratory odyssey of a troubled alcoholic making peace with the fact that he can’t return to his old life.

He Doesn’t Lose The Laughs

If the subject matter in Everything Must Go sounds a little too heavy for your tastes, it’s worth noting that Will Ferrell still knows how to bring humor to the story. Despite his flaws, Nick has a good heart and his new friendship with Kenny makes for an interesting odd-couple dynamic as Nick teaches the child how to become an effective salesman under his guidance. When Nick does occasionally lose his temper in a fit of alcoholic rage, he’s immediately humbled by his lawn sprinklers and customers who haggle with him over the price of a half-used bottle of mouth wash.

Shows Ferrell’s Range

Everything Must Go demonstrates how serious an actor Will Ferrell can be when he rises to the challenge. Critics praised Ferrell’s efforts to take on a role that marks a departure from his career, which rose to prominence with his contributions to Saturday Night Live. This unassuming movie garnered a 73 percent critical score on Rotten Tomatoes as a result.

Stream It Now

everything must go

You may not be ready to see Will Ferrell portray a broken man who lost everything if you’re used to his over-the-top delivery in films like Elf or Blades of Glory. But if you’re willing to watch one of our generation’s greatest comedians be a little more vulnerable and a lot more profound, you can stream Everything Must Go on Tubi.