Monday, December 5, 2011
Everything Must Go
First time director/writer Dan Rush has skillfully woven a story that combines both comedy and drama. The writing is thought-provoking and intelligent. Rush seems to understand the inner workings of the human condition and its frailties. Although the comedy can be dark at times, the overall message is hopeful.
After losing his job due a recent event on a business trip in Denver, Nick comes home to find all of his belongings spread across his front lawn. To make matters worse, his wife changed the security codes and locks on their suburban home. However, Nick’s problems don’t stop there as his wife, whom we actually never see in the movie, puts a hold on the bank account and the ATM card. Without money and a place to stay, Nick’s options are limited.
Soon the next door neighbor complains about the mess on Nick’s lawn. The police show up threatening to arrest him if he doesn’t clear off the lawn. Detective Frank Garcia (Michael Pinà) buys him a few extra days by obtaining a lawn sale permit, which gives Nick five days to get his act together. Frank is also his friend and AA sponsor. So what does Nick do?
Helping Nick is Kenny the neighbor kid (Christopher Gordon Wallace), who is a natural born salesman. During the process of selling Nick’s goods, they develop a bond and friendship. One of the most important scenes in the film occurs when Nick discovers his old high school year book and decides to look up Delilah (Laura Dern) whose comment in his high school year book had touched him. Delilah realizes that he’s hurting but doesn’t pry. She tells him something very profound that starts a change in Nick’s life. She says, “You have a good heart, and that doesn’t change”. It’s something that Nick had forgotten. Can Nick find the person he used to be?
This film is a great example of independent filmmaking at its best. Who would ever think that a bunch of stuff setting on a lawn could be interesting? But every object has a story. In fact, the people who live in the other suburban homes also have a story. Nick asks what exactly is normal when he’s confronted by his new neighbor, Samantha (Rebecca Hall), whose life seems anything but routine as she faces a pregnancy with an absentee husband.
Everything Must Go is worth your time. The material is thought-provoking and offers a redemptive theme. However, the film is rated R for language and some suggestive materiel. Therefore, Everything Must Go is suggested for adults only.