Raymond Carver's short-short story "Why Don't You Dance?" was a characteristically poker-faced tale about an alcoholic who's arranged all his furniture and belongings on the front lawn of his suburban home. To expand it into this low-key comic drama, writer-director Dan Rush has sketched in the presumed details (the man's wife has left him), added a rickety story arc (she's locked him out and canceled his credit cards, leaving him no option but to raise cash through a yard sale), and tossed in a few standard-issue supporting characters (a lonely fat kid who befriends the guy, an unhappy housewife across the street). As the phlegmatic, beer-guzzling protagonist, Will Ferrell manages to keep this rolling, though Rush's corny narrative devices (each of the minor characters receives an ironic gift at the end) couldn't be less consistent with Carver's stubborn minimalism. With Rebecca Hall, Laura Dern, and Michael Peña.
Director: Dan Rush
Producer: Marty Bowen, Wyck Godfrey, Scott Lumpkin, Celine Rattray, Bill Hallman, Marc Erlbaum and J. Greenblatt
Cast: Will Ferrell, Christopher Wallace, Rebecca Hall, Michael Peña, Laura Dern, Rosalie Michaels, Stephen Root, Glenn Howerton and Jason Spisak