It was 2005’s Kicking and Screaming — when Will Ferrell stepped into the family comedy realm — that we all realized that the man’s best years were probably already behind him. He surprised us with Stranger than Fiction, but it’s been paycheck movie after paycheck movie ever since, as Ferrell has evolved into the new Eddie Murphy. Land of the Lost was the nail in the temple — while many of his crap efforts had managed to turn in massive box-office receipts, Land of the Lost sank like Mary Jo Kopechne.
Ferrell has, at least temporarily, come to his senses, and is hoping, I suspect, to regain some of that Stranger than Fiction magic before he becomes the forgotten third Thompson Twin (the one with dreads). He’s signed on to a $10 million indie (or, roughly, half his normal salary) called Everything Must Go. The film comes from writer/director Dan Rush, a commercial director who has been offered features before, but decided to write his own movie. The resulting script was good enough to be on 2008’s Black List.
Based on a Raymond Carver short story, Everything Must Go concerns a man who is kicked out of his house by his wife, who leaves all of his belongings out on the lawn. The man spends the next four days trying to sell all his possessions.
It’s a promising premise, and one that will hopefully blend Ferrell’s comedic side with his occasional glimpse of humanity. As producer Marty Bowen notes, “Will is one of the best at making an audience sympathize with a character’s ordeal, and the blending and comedy in this script will show a side of him that we haven’t really seen before,”
If you’ve seen Old School, I’m not sure there’s a side of Ferrell that we haven’t already seen. Also: Ewww.