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Film / Everything Must Go

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Nick is annoyed that you think this is a wacky Will Ferrell comedy.

Based on a short story by Raymond Carver titled "Why Don't You Dance?", Everything Must Go is a 2010 American drama film directed by Dan Rush and starring Will Ferrell, who is Playing Against Type as Nick Halsey, an alcoholic man who gets kicked out of his house by his wife, and he struggles to live on his lawn until the police have to force him out. While he lives on his lawn, he becomes acquainted with some of his neighbors.


  • The Alcoholic: Nick is a very realistic and self-destructive portrayal.
  • Artistic License – Law: As the house is in both of their names, the two are still married, and Catherine has not pressed any charges against Nick, there is no legal ground that she can kick Nick out of the house, neither can he be arrested for breaking into his own house. Really erroneous when Detective Frank says if Nick tried to break in he'd be arrested, which is a lie (then again, Frank is later revealed to clearly be on Catherine's side, so he may have been lying on purpose).
  • Blackmail: Nick spies two of his neighbors engaged in BDSM sex acts, and uses it to blackmail them into letting him use their electricity and pool. Also notable because the blackmail isn't explicitly stated, but implied through exchanged glances.
  • Garage Sale: Detective Frank Garcia advises Nick to hold one to exploit a loophole that allows him [Nick] to live on his lawn a few more days, provided he's selling stuff.
  • George Jetson Job Security: Invoked when Nick tells Samantha why he was fired from his job; he got blackout drunk at a business event and was accused by his co-worker of some sort of sexual misconduct (implied to be rape), and the worst part is: Nick isn't sure if he actually did it or not. Samantha is a brand new neighbor who's husband hasn't moved into the house yet, all alone with a man who just revealed this and is drinking an exuberant amount of beer ... she is clearly quite disturbed and excuses herself quickly from the situation (although she does calm down later).
  • Intergenerational Friendship: Nick befriends a neighborhood kid named Kenny, whom he teaches to play baseball and how to make sales.
  • Nosy Neighbor: Nick has one. It is she who alerts the police to Nick living out on his lawn.
  • Read the Fine Print: Nick's joint account allows one spouse to cut off the other's access to the account. When it's applied against Nick he asks the banker who agreed to that. It turns out he did, signing the papers without reading that clause.
  • The Sponsor: Garcia is this to Nick for his alcoholism. Interesting as Frank has been able to help Nick out of trouble, but is also willing to arrest him if necessary. He also turns out to be sleeping with Nick's wife.