After Nick is fired from his sales job, mostly because of his penchant for alcohol, he comes home and finds that his wife has kicked him and all of his stuff out of the house and onto the front lawn. He is pretty intent on just sitting in his chair, drinking beer, on the lawn. His cop friend, Frank Garcia, thinks he should at least pretend to have a yard sale to make it legal. He slowly starts making friends with a neighborhood kid who needs something to do, and a pregnant wife who has just moved in across the street, and Nick finds himself moving on and selling all his stuff. Written by
Property Master Keith Mosca's name appears multiple times in the yearbook that Nick is looking through when he finds the note from Delilah. See more »
Some pictures (and names)in the yearbook are used multiple times, some with different cropping, others not. See more »
Voice on tape:
Rule number 1, know your products. Okay, whether it's a PC or a piece of paper, know how it works. Number 2. Know your customers. Learn everything you can about them. Listen to what they want, and what they don't want. Rule number 3. Go the extra yard, okay? If you don't have the answer, find it. It's that simple. Okay, let's go get those numbers out there.
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Will Ferrell Shows Some Versatility, But The Story Has No Real Point Or Conclusion
The first thing to know about this movie is that it's not your typical Will Ferrell comedy. It's not outrageously funny; it's not ridiculously silly. Truthfully, in spite of the comedy/drama label, it's not really a comedy at all. This probably just could have been called a drama. This is downcast, sombre and even sad almost from the first moment. It makes the point that Ferrell can offer an effective performance without having to be outrageous (much as "Reign On Me" made that point for Adam Sandler.) And he was effective in this.
His character is Nick Halsey. Nick is a regional vice president of sales for a major corporation of some sort, but he has lots of problems
especially the fact that he's an alcoholic; a problem that's been
with him for a long time. As the movie opens, it finally comes to an end for Nick. The company is tired of him. It's not that he's unsuccessful at what he does - they're just tired of him and his antics, and he gets fired. Then, when he arrives home, he discovers his wife is gone, she's changed the locks on the house, and thrown all of his possessions on the front lawn. With nothing else to do and nowhere else to go, Nick takes up residence in the front yard, finally organizing a giant lawn sale just to get rid of everything.
Basically that's the story, and the story is the biggest weakness of the movie. This doesn't really go anywhere, it never leads to anything, there's absolutely no closure in how it ends. It basically revolves around the relationships Nick develops with a new neighbour (Samantha, played by Rebecca Hall) who's having some problems of her own and seems to find in Nick a sort of kindred spirit, and with Kenny (Christopher C.J. Wallace) - a local overweight teenager who doesn't really fit in and who helps Nick with the yard sale. The development of those relationships moves the story forward ever so slowly, but as I said it moves slowly forward to no real destination. And by the time this ends you even wonder about those relationships. Did they mean very much? Will they be lasting? And I was lost by the need to involve Laura Dern as one of Nick's former high school classmates. That whole interplay really offered little, except noting that Nick has a big heart. That surely could have been done without the need to introduce a totally extraneous character into the mix.
I liked Ferrell in this. He's not the one dimensional actor he sometimes appears to be. The fact that this offered him a vehicle to show that in a low-key and sombre role makes it worthwhile, I suppose, but it doesn't overcome the terribly heavy and ultimately unresolved plot. (5/10)
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