Will Ferrell jumps way outside of his goofy screen persona to play an alcoholic at the end of his rope in "Everything Must Go."
The movie opens during a disastrous day that ends with the loss of his job, car, house and marriage in a matter of hours. With all his belongings on the front lawn of his former home, he is clearly in need of a life-changing garage sale.
But first, he spends days guzzling gallons of beer and annoying his neighbors.
Rebecca Hall plays a pregnant newcomer across the street who lends insight and a helping hand to his situation. His AA sponsor arranges a last chance for him to get straight without police intervention.
But it's a latch-key kid played by Christopher Jordan Wallace who helps turn his personal catastrophe into the possibility of redemption.
There's a nice touch of heart and humor to temper the adversity at hand. This is a quiet indie flick that shines a needed light on a common problem that profoundly affects many people.
Females carry funny wedding films
"Bridesmaids" is a real gut-buster in the raunchy tradition of "Wedding Crashers" and "The Hangover" on what can go wrong in the days leading up to a wedding.
It's loaded with sex, romance, and an ensemble with spot-on timing. Oh, yes, and most of the cast is female.
Kristen Wiig of "SNL" stars as Annie, maid of honor for lifelong friend and newly engaged Lillian (Maya Rudolph). Poor Annie, lately nothing goes as planned — not her business, love life or the bridal luncheon. It's both painful and hilarious.
Behind the laughter is a knowing commentary on the social and financial insecurities that plague us all. Writers Wiig and Annie Mumalo (who plays her seatmate on a doomed flight) sure know how to throw a party.
'Jumping the Broom'
Raucously funny "Jumping the Broom" is a less graphic take on wedding day blues.
The ladies again steal the show when two diverse families meet for the first time before some very lavish nuptials in Martha's Vineyard.
Uptight, wealthy Angela Bassett squares off against working-class, outspoken Loretta Devine as mothers of the bride and groom, respectively. Each carries a chip on her shoulder that has nothing to do with the wedding, and each has her own rigid code of values.
Paula Patton and Laz Alonso are the beautiful couple whose love and loyalties are tested by all this mama drama. Love, laughter, tears, and fabulous scenery — what more could a hopeful romantic ask for?
JOHN DEPKO is a retired senior investigator for the Orange County public defender's office. He lives in Costa Mesa and works as a licensed private investigator.
SUSANNE PEREZ lives in Costa Mesa.