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.


  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.

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

  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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