Everything Must Go

You know who can spin a yarn? Raymond Carver can. I’ve heard his name basically once on my life but it stuck with me because it was attached to something memorable. About 20 years ago my wife and I saw Short Cuts at Piper’s Alley (North and Wells) and I liked it so much that I’ve harbored a notion ever since to explore some more Raymond Carver.

Well, I haven’t until now, at least knowingly.

This movie was based on a Raymond Carver short story and it stars a somber but spectacular Will Ferrell. He plays a drunk who loses his job and comes home to find that his wife threw all his stuff on the front lawn, locked up the house, and moved out. He deals with it for the rest of the movie.

The movie navigates some slippery slopes. When you have a self-destructive person like a drunk it’s always cringeworthy when he’s been sober for awhile but then starts to head back to the drink. It’s especially affecting when it happens to such a good-humored fellow like Ferrell’s character. There’s a great scene where he goes to the brink of violence when a convenience store clerk won’t give him credit to buy beer. Nice job.

There are also some characters with whom he builds a mutually respectful relationship with but you know it’s kind of doomed. The movie navigates this slope well by not letting everything end up happily-ever-after but by somewhat tying up loose ends with a little bit of closure.

I really like this movie a lot. G and I watched it on Netflix instant together. I was glad I could share it with her.