Nick Halsey (Will Ferrell) gets fired from his job, has his car repossessed, and returns to his suburban Phoenix, Ariz. home to find that his wife has left him, but not before strewing his belonging across the front yard and changing the locks to the house. And, all that's during the first five minutes of director Dan Rush's adaptation of Raymond Carver's short story. Alone and adrift, Nick settles into the recliner situated on his lawn and, with a fridge full of Pabst Blue Ribbon, imbibes the alcoholism that caused this adversity in the first place. Although too minimalist at times, the film two levels. First, it is an earnest fable about a man who must confront and let go of his past in order to embark on a better future – Ferrell dials back his normal oafish shtick in favor of the low-key humorous persona he used in Stranger Than Fiction
. Second, there's a commentary about the artificiality of suburbia, where denizens erect covenants and regulations intended to wall away life's ugliness.