TMG Scale 8.0 P Factor 1.0
Starring Will Ferrell, Rebecca Hall, Laura Dern, Stephen Root, Michael Pena
As I sat down to watch this movie I said out loud to Joy Lynn, “You know it would be nice to see Ferrell do a serious or dramatic role sometime.” Robin Williams has done it many times (One Hour Photo (2002), Insomnia (2002) etc..) Jim Carey was awesome in The Majestic (2001). We talk trivia about comedians on our May 17th show. I was not disappointed because this role came very close.
Ferrell plays alcoholic Nick Halsey who falls off the wagon the day he gets fired. His wife leaves him and tosses all his stuff onto the front lawn. Who wouldn’t? In an attempt to start over and find meaning to life, he launches a yard sale while living on the lawn for the next four days. He makes friends with a young black boy from their neighborhood named Kenny. He tires to figure things out while getting to know the pregnant women next door (Hall) whose husband left her alone to move the house across country. He explores and old high school flame (Dern). It is sort of a “Four days in the life of” film about a guy down on his luck. But, it is so much more.
What I found most interesting and impressive was that Ferrell played the role down. Rather than take this dramatic change of life yelling, screaming or going over the top with displays of frustration, he just seems to take it as if he deserves it. And perhaps he does. He sort of accepts the resignation that things pretty much cannot get much worse, so go with the flow. Well, until he finds out his AA sponsor, friend and local cop took up with his wife. Even then, their is some resignation of “what did I expect?” His best bet is to rid himself of the baggage he created for his life.
You might think this movie is pure comedy. It is funny, but is more than that. It is also a romantic drama. Ferrell cannot help but be funny by his mere presence, but this movie really struts his talents beyond being an eccentric goofball and clown.
Congrats to young newcomer Christopher Wallace (the son of Notorious BIG and Faith Evans). He plays the neighbor boy Kenny who provides a constant reality check to Ferrell’s character. This kid has talent written all over him. Think of a younger version of Quinton Aaron from The Blindside (2009) who played “Big Mike” Oher. I hope Ferrell does more films like this one.