Just Read: Everything Must Go

Everything Must Go

by Dan Rush

Draft Dated: 4.4.8

Based on the short story “Why Don’t You Dance” by Raymond Carver

Remember that everything I write is my personal opinion, and is (usually) based on an early draft; the plot, characters, and practically anything and everything in this draft could be changed, or will change, before the movie comes out.

This story is basically about Nick, a down-and-out struggling alcoholic, who loses just about everything he holds important in life. After Nick’s wife decides to leave him, she throws all his personal belongings in their front yard, and changes the locks. So what does Nick do? He says fuck it, and begins living in his front yard. This is a powerful story about letting go and starting over.

The reason I read this script was because I’d heard some positive reviews about it, and I knew that Will Ferrell was cast to play Nick. I love Will Ferrell. I have to watch Elf multiple time a year, just to keep up with the quotes.  Oh, and Step Brothers… don’t even get me started!  A life without Will Ferrell is a life not worth living. I seriously don’t know how you “Will Ferrell Haters” do it.  Yes, there really are Will Ferrell haters out there! I’ve actually met a few of them.

I was really intrigued after hearing that Will Ferrell was cast in this movie, so I decided to check it out.  I was expecting it to be a complete comedy. Wrong! Honestly, if I didn’t know Will Farrell was going to be in this film, I would have thought it to be one of the most depressing scripts I have ever read. Even knowing ahead of time that Will Farrell was going to play Nick, this script was still depressing. Not to say there aren’t funny parts in the script. There are definitely some hilarious scenes I can’t wait to see played out. But when you take the script in its entirety, it’s very heavy.  Definitely a Dark Comedy. Casting Will was a genius decision, I believe.

Now that I think of it, this story reminds me a lot of Lost in Translation.  It’s funny, but depressing. Lost in Translation also happens to be one of my favorite movies.

Due to MAJOR SPOILERS I am putting the rest of the review after the jump.  But to start off, I’ll break down the good and the bad.

The Good

  • The writer really makes you feel what the main character is feeling.  I instantly hated Nicks wife, hated his boss, and hated his neighbors. I felt so much sympathy for Nick.
  • The whole script is kind of dark, and negative, and I don’t give a fucking shit-ty… which I enjoy.
  • Even though the movie is fairly dark, the writing is extremely witty.  The dialogue makes you laugh.

The Bad

  • There really isn’t anything bad about this script that I can think of at the moment. It doesn’t end the way you really want it to, but that doesn’t mean the ending is wrong, or bad. It’s actually very appropriate to what the story is trying to say. But when Hollywood bombards you with revenge and happy endings, you sort of come to expect it. Not in this one.

The Verdict

I think Will Farrell will do an awesome job, and I really had a fun time reading this script. If you can find it, I highly recommend reading it. I thought it to be serious, yet funny, and it touched on some important life topics. If you’re skeptical about Will Farrell’s performance, or skeptical about a non-ridiculous Will Farrell movie, watch Stranger than Fiction.

I cannot share scripts on this site out of fear of being sued, but if you place your email in the comments section, there is really nothing I can do if another reader decides to send it to you.


From the very beginning of this script, Nick is hit with a shit brick — hard!  I mean, the guy gets fired on page 5 from the job he’s held for sixteen years. We learn on page 11 that his wife is leaving him, and that she’s thrown all his personal belongings into a giant pile in their front yard. She takes all his money.  His car is taken away.  The writer really makes you feel bad for Nick, right from the beginning. Like… really bad.

Nick is so fucked, he can’t even pay the movers to get his stuff out of his own front lawn. So what does he do?  He sets up all his stuff in his yard, and lives there instead. Yeah, fuck the man!  He stocks up on beer and just sits in his front yard, interacting with his curious neighbors.  Nick’s new “home” almost gets him arrested, but his A.A. Sponsor happens to be a cop, and finds a loophole for him.  If Nick holds a “yard sale” he can stay in his yard for a little while longer, giving him some time to get his life together.  This becomes part of the theme of letting go. Nick has to let go of his stuff, as well as his old life. He befriends some new neighbors, and a large black kid on a bike.  All of them play a part in helping Nick move on with his life.

At the very end of the script, I’m talking the very last page, we see Nick cleaned up and moving into a new apartment. Clearly a new man now, ready to start fresh. The script ends with him getting out a year book, so he can call an old classmate who had a crush on him… very much like the end of Lost and Translation and Cast Away.

I’m really excited about seeing this movie. Are you?

What do you think about Will Ferrell playing a more serious role?

4 thoughts on “Just Read: Everything Must Go”

  1. I would like to read this script. I’m interested in it as a learning process. Also, looking for other examples of well written scripts. Scripts written the right way. I am working on a script that I have finished about four different times now.

    Thank you,


  2. Like Dean above, I’m interested in reading the script to Everything Must Go, as a learning experience. Like Dan Rush, I’m a first time screenplay writer, and this movie provided the exact mix of poignancy and occasional comic relief I’m looking for in my script.


  3. We watched this last night. Your review is spot on, even though I’m not as big of a WillFan as you. I will be recommending this movie to friends who are still painfully holding on…

    “Bye Buddy…hope you find’yer dad.”

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