Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Stranger Than Fiction

I really liked this movie, and I’m happy we got to see it in a real theater. It also helped me clarify what I didn’t like about that book I read recently, The Christmas Shoes. Both the movie and the book have basically the same message: enjoy every moment of your life and the people in it. But Stranger than Fiction has a quirky, unique way of getting the message across. (I was going to say it has a novel way of getting the message across, but I just couldn’t do it.)

Will Ferrell plays the serious guy for once, and he is really good: his character, Harold Crick, an IRS agent whose life is suddenly being narrated by a female voice only he can hear, is earnest, shy, tentative, his life dictated by his routines. The other actors are also very good. Emma Thompson is the chain-smoking novelist narrating Harold’s life; Dustin Hoffman is a literature professor (and while he wasn’t exactly like any of my literature professors, he brought back memories of my days as a Comparative Literature major); Maggie Gyllenhaal is the love-interest, who is delightfully anti-taxes, purposely paying only 78% of her income tax, because the other 22% goes for stuff she doesn’t support.

If you’re looking for a science-fiction type of explanation for what's happening to Harold, you’ll be disappointed. But I didn’t miss it. It was funny without being silly and stupid; touching to watch the awkward romantic advances of a (previously) boring IRS agent; thought-provoking and beautiful to watch, with nice cinematography and good music. I’d like to see it again.

3 comments:

  1. Erin, I am trying to track you and Jon down. Did I find the right spot? Did you both serve your missions in Zwickau? I have some info to forward to you both. Thanks.

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  2. Yes, Mirjam, you found us. You can email us at somusing@zayda.net. It's good to hear from you!

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  3. My father was angry with this movie because it wasn't a comedy. I found that same fact refreshing. I very much liked this movie and recommend it all the time. "Little did he know that this simple seemingly innocuous act would result in his imminent death." I have been tempted greatly, lately, to walk around for a day and check off the events if they are comedy or tragedy. I suspect my story is a comedy, but that would only make it more tragic when it turns out not to be.

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