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Everything Must Go

Sr. Rose Pacatte, F.S.P.

Nick Halsey (Will Farrell) loses his job in sales, his wife, and his home on the same day. He is a recovering alcoholic but lapses into a haze of beer-induced drunkenness, laying in his easy chair in the front lawn. Nick has no idea what to do about his situation. When the cops inform him that he cannot live in his front yard, his AA sponsor, Frank (Michael Pena), a detective, gets him a permit for a yard sale.

Meanwhile, a kid named Kenny (Christopher Jordan Wallace) starts hanging around and Nick hires him to watch his stuff. They become friends and Nick teaches Kenny some baseball while Kenny picks up the art of sales very quickly. A new neighbor moves in across the street, Samantha (Rebecca Hall), who is pregnant with her first child. She and Nick are friendly as she waits for her husband to arrive. She is a photographer and Nick gives her an old camera that belonged to his mother.

Nick is on a five-day journey to find himself. The loss of his job and wife is the start he needs to divest himself of the rest of his belongings. He visits an old girl friend, and realizes he cannot go home again. He is depressed and offers bleak observations to Samantha. She goes home, hurt.

“Everything Must Go” is a kind of parable that lays out the options for middle-aged people who find themselves at a crucial moment, a crossroads, even if it only means crossing the front yard. Nick was treading water, going nowhere at work or in his marriage. He and his wife had decided not to have children. Nick tried drowning in his misery, tried re-connecting with his past, tries to connect with his wife who will not take his calls. In order to go forward, he must unload all the material and in a sense, spiritual, baggage he has accumulated, and start fresh.

The thing is, none of us can go it alone. Kenny and Samantha each contribute to Nick’s future. He also makes a grand front-yard gesture that sets him free.

The film was written and directed by first-timer Dan Rush. He took difficult material and with a good script and Will Farrell’s ability to make a boring character interesting and entertaining, gives thoughtful audiences something that transcends the ordinary, ever so slightly, and maybe just enough.

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