13 November 2006

Stranger Than Fiction

Will Ferrell is Stranger than Fiction

This past weekend I went to see the new Will Ferrell flick Stranger than Fiction. I knew what I was getting into when I went. Obviously, the college crowd was not so informed. It reminded me of the crowd of people that went to see Punch Drunk Love or The Truman Show. It was fun to listen to them whisper amongst themselves as they slowly figure out that is not the slapstick comedy of Old School or Talladega Nights.

This was Ferrell’s foray into dramatic acting. This was his dramedy. He was completely unrecognizable. There has been a lot speculation that he will be nominated for a few awards. I hope he isn’t. That would be a travesty. If Jim Carrey cannot get nominated for any of his three great roles in The Truman Show, Man on the Moon, or Eternal Sunshine on the Spotless Mind, then I do not think that it would be fair to nominate Ricky Bobby.

Now, on with my review.This was a very entertaining movie. Its great characters and their interaction with each other was the drving force in this film. The main character was an IRS auditor named Harold Crick. He has a very boring life that was timed to the second. It was about what happens to this man if he gets off his time schedule. Ferrell played Crick. He hears a voice that is narrating his life. Telling him how boring it was. Nobody else hears him or believes him until he met Prof. Jules Hilbert, played by Dustin Hoffman. This character had many nuances that made him a great character. Together, Hilbert and Crick try to figure out who's narrating his life so they can determine his fate, as the narrator has stated that he has an impending death. Hilbert devises many ways to determine if he is in a comedy or a drama. All were humorous.

Enter Kay Eifel. She's a writer struggling with writer’s block, played by Emma Thompson. Her publishers send over an assistant, Penny Escher, played by Queen Latifah. Together, they try and figure out the ending of her latest novel. Unfortunately for Mr. Crick, the end of the novel is his death.

Along the way, we meet Ana Pascal, Maggie Gyllenhaal. She's a baker that decided to only pay 78% of her taxes. Crick is sent to audit her. They have great chemistry on screen and create some of the best conflict.

The climax of movie occured when Eifel figures out how to kill Crick, but met him before she can finish. Then Hilbert read the novel to see if the end makes sense. Then Crick read it. A decision is made. And the end plays out.I have to say that this movie was a great feel-good movie.

Verdict: I spent the money, and so should you. Worth every dime.

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