Stranger than Fiction
Starring Will Ferrell, Emma Thompson, Dustin Hoffman, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Queen Latifah
Directed by Marc Forster and written by Zach Helm
Rated PG-13 for some disturbing images, sexuality, brief language and nudity
Reviewed by Joanne Brokaw
Most writers would agree that putting words on paper is often akin to opening a vein and bleeding onto the page. For novelist Karen Eiffel (Emma Thompson), however, the blood she’s spilling belongs to mild-mannered and slightly obsessive-compulsive IRS employee, Harold Crick (Will Ferrell). One morning, Harold begins to hear a woman’s voice narrating his every move, and with the help of Jules Hilbert (Dustin Hoffman), professor of English literature, soon discovers that he’s actually the character in a novel being written by a chronically depressed writer. Following her narration (which she doesn’t realize he can hear), Harold becomes involved with a lively baker named Ana (Maggie Gyllenhaal), who teaches him how to enjoy life (and cookies).
Author Karen Eiffel is suffering from writer’s block, and with the help of Penny (Queen Latifah), the assistant sent by her publisher, is searching for the best way to do in her main character so she can finish her latest book. When she realizes that her writing is actually directing the life of a real human, Karen struggles to write the final chapter, knowing that it will literally mean Harold’s death.
“Stranger Than Fiction” is a charming comedy about living life to the fullest, and writers will enjoy the hilarious portrayal of a writer struggling to finish her greatest work. (Haven’t we all struggled with depression, especially on deadline?) Recommendation: don’t miss this delightful film.
Friday, November 10, 2006
Stranger than Fiction
Do we really need to be engaging in loud, public phone conversations about bowel movements, business deals and relationship woes? Can’t we excuse ourselves and find a quiet place to carry on a long-winded, intimate conversation? Can’t Aunt Tilly in Tacoma wait five minutes while the cashier rings up our groceries? Read more in my column, One Ringy Dingy.