Monday, February 5, 2007

Stranger Than Fiction

Posted by lea at 12:53 PM

The premise of this movie is really interesting and a little far-out (reminded me a tad of Charlie Kaufman, only not on drugs). Harold Crick (Will Ferrell as the unlikely straight man) is a fictional character being written about by an author played by Emma Thompson (who does a really great job). He begins to hear her narration in his head and thinks he’s going crazy, but discovers that he’s actually the character of a novel. His life changes dramatically as he seeks help from Dustin Hoffman’s character, a professor in literature or something, and metamorphoses from a boring routine IRS auditor to being forced to act outside his comfort zone as he attempts to change the story, and discovers that he really wants to LIVE.

It brought to mind the idea in creative writing that characters can come alive and practically write themselves, so authors are the instruments who tell the story, rather than the driving force of the story. However, in this movie the author forces the story and the character, even against his will.

The only downfall in this movie is after the point when you discover that the author and the character live on the same plane/dimension (in fact the same city), so he can actually track her down. There’s only one direction the movie can go after that, and it becomes pretty predictable from that point.

Maggie Gyllenhaal gives a standout performance as a conscientiously objecting baker who becomes his love interest (very strange couple, but the dynamic really works well). The visual additions to the movie (computer generated effects measuring things in the scene) give an insight to the character of Harold Crick and make the movie really enjoyable and unique, and the script was really good too. I also loved seeing Buster in something outside of Arrested Development.

2 comments:

Caesar on February 5, 2007 at 1:38 PM said...

Just be thankful that the story didn't result in the Will Ferrell character meeting the author, falling in love with each other, and then having the story folding in on itself as it turns out that they're both characters for some other author.

lea on February 22, 2007 at 4:19 PM said...

now THAT'S a story!!

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