Thursday, December 2, 2010

REC OF THE WEEK: Stranger Than Fiction

Quick Update: Downloading songs if fun. Except for when the flash drive says "too many videos". Then that's not fun. :/

Over Thanksgiving weekend, I popped in one of my favorite flicks. Ironically, though it is about fictional characters, literature, and a deranged author…it gets facts about us writers very wrong. However, its other details keep it enriching and lovable.

STRANGER THAN FICTION - also known as Will Ferrell’s most serious movie - is a dramedy about a not-so-social IRS agent, Harold Crick, whose life is suddenly narrated by a British author. An author that uses sarcasm and the phrase “little-did-he-know” to reveal that Harold Crick is a character about to die. His lonely and dull existence comes to a halt as he goes on the search for a writer before she can kill him off…much like every other protagonist in her seven previous novels.

One extremely likeable thing about this film is the random, but well-placed, cast. Maggie Gyllenhaal as the rebellious love interest Harold must audit. Dustin Hoffman as a writing professor who attempts to help Harold locate his potential killer. And Emma Thompson as the author whose eccentric attitude about writing battles her self-loathing when she learns Harold Crick is a real character.

Another likeable part is the screenplay. It’s genius, but realistic genius. Emma Thompson definitely gives the narration the soft humorous touch she needs when describing the tedious details of Howard Crick’s life, and the awkward relationship between Will Ferrell and Maggie Gyllenhaal’s characters is perfectly scribed.

With its many memorable actors, the movie definitely hits home with the character sympathy. You feel for the guy being killed and the person who’s about to kill him. What could be better?

I guess the main flaw I should point out - as you guys are writers - is its almost comical way of picturing authors. Such as how morbid the author is when it comes to killing her character (going as far as visiting a hospital and asking where the dying people are) or having an assistant (played by Queen Latifah of all people) sent from her publishing company to help her with her writer’s block. Even if it does get some facts wrong, it does capture the fear of an one our kind when the unimaginable happens…our characters being real after all.

Okay, peeps. Another time! Oh, and the new SSF schedule and blog overall will probably show up in a week or so, now that Web Design class is coming to an end. So stay tuned!


  1. I had missed this book for years until my girlfriend introduced me to it just a month or two ago. I'm still not a fan of Will Ferrell, but this movie was an absolute gem :)

  2. Thanks for your review. Will Ferrell movies are hit or miss for me, but this one sounds like one to see.

  3. Thanks for reading guys! And yeah, I understand how the appeal of most Will Ferrell movies doesn't apply to most. Trust me, though is actually a smart movie...for him, I mean.