Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Stranger Than Fiction |
Actors: Will Ferrell, Emma Thompson, Dustin Hoffman, Queen Latifah, Maggie Gyllenhaal
Director: Marc Forster
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Science Fiction & Fantasy
An IRS auditor suddenly finds himself the subject of narration only he can hear: narration that begins to effect his entire life, from his work, to his love-interest, to his death.
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Literature, Taxes, Death And Cookies--A Difficult Concept Is
K. Harris | Las Vegas, NV | 11/18/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The idea of "Stranger Than Fiction" appealed to me the moment I first heard of it. Harold Crick, played by Will Ferrell, wakes up one day and hears a voice. An omniscient narrator is relating his life with precision and no one can hear that voice but himself. It turns out that the voice is Emma Thompson, playing a famed author who is actually writing a novel about a character named Harold Crick. And it's the same Harold Crick. What is being put down in fiction is also concurrently happening in real life. It's a tricky concept, one that I felt might be impossible to pull off effectively. Well, not only does "Stranger Than Fiction" pull it off--it succeeds grandly as a surprisingly thoughtful, amusing, and moving contemplation of life. For Harold must immediately confront his mortality when the narrator informs him/us that he will soon die!
The complicated narrative of the film is pulled off brilliantly. The overlapping structure necessary to maintain the momentum and cohesion of the film must be attributed to a clever, intricate screenplay. Literate, witty, and real--it's a real treat. Lots of interesting effects help to pull the two worlds together making even the most mundane moments of Harold's life visually compelling. The movie's construction is fascinating and enjoyable.
Will Ferrell reins in his typical "overgrown kid" persona, and plays Harold as a real guy. It's refreshing and while I've never considered him a leading man type--his tentative romance with Maggie Gyllenhaal (while a bit of a stretch) is played very credibly and sweetly. Dustin Hoffman, as a literature professor helping Harold discover what book he's in, is having a great time. But it's Emma Thompson that stole my heart. As the author, she is a complete neurotic mess--but as she begins to realize what is happening, something in her transforms. Her character provides much of the film's insight and it's most powerfully dramatic acting. It's a deft balancing act, and as usual--she hit all the right marks.
After a near perfect movie, we have to bring both stories of Harold to an end. The movie turns into a poignant examination of sacrifice. If Thompson kills Harold in her novel, it will be recognized as a great piece of literature. If she lets him live, the novel will be just another routine bit of entertainment. This art versus commercialism angle is absolutely enthralling, and also surprising since it is raised so late in the film. There are moments of real power as everyone faces important life decisions--but these aren't false "lessons," they are genuine emotion that the film has subtly earned.
Ultimately, the ending is exactly what the film wants it to be. While I didn't find it the most satisfying choice--it is perfect for the movie because by this point the film itself is mirroring the novel within the film. It's a clever bit of trickery and very unusual. I admired "Stranger Than Fiction" very much and would give it 4 1/2 stars as an original and intelligent treat. KGHarris, 11/06."
A Quirky and Pleasant Surprise
L. L. M. Sanchez | Nowhere, Wisconsin | 11/23/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A disclaimer: I've got a high tolerance for quirky and this film certainly qualifies as such. I loved it, but I love quirky films a lot more than the mainstream moviegoer.
I went to see this movie on a whim and so I didn't quite know what I was getting into. But a few minutes into it I just KNEW that it was going to be one of my favorites. And, indeed, it is one of the best films I've seen in the theater in a while. I smiled throughout the whole of it.
The story is new. The characters are engaging. And the plot is so very random that it just works.
Now I'm one of those people who ALWAYS questions the logistics of say *time travel* and/or *magic doorways* but this film was so very charming that I wasn't bothered by how incredibly non-sensical it seems: an author *creates* Will Ferrell's character and can decide if he lives or dies with her *typewriter*?
The fact of the matter is, it's a fairy tale of sorts for a new and modern society. It's filmed in such an aesthetically astute manner. The actors are at their very best and most endearing. And the writing is wholly engaging.
It's NOT your typical Will Ferrell movie and if you go into it expecting fart jokes and prat falls, you'll be disappointed. But if you go into it with an open mind and a receptive heart, I imagine you'll be quite touched by the ideas it's trying to negotiate in its sweet and clumsy way."
Movie Good Copy Portection Bad.
Bob Dobolina | 04/16/2007
(1 out of 5 stars)
"I tried to play this movie in my DVD player and it wouldn't work. After reading the reviews here I discovered that new Sony movies won't play on half the players in the US. I am done buying Sony movies until this is fixed. This is like the time they installed the virus on peoples computers when they bought a CD. Hopefully, some lawyer can fix this. I'll just have to buy movies somewhere else for now."
Very Very Funny . . . And Odd
N. Burt | Wisconsin | 04/01/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I loved this movie. It is funny and odd, but it has a lot of heart to it. The writing is so good that my friends and I thought at first that it must be adapted from a larger work, such as a book. The characters are that well crafted and the story that unique. These are not things most comedies bother with at present. Now, I'm calling this a comedy, but it will pull on your emotions a bit. Its all worth it though. The acting is great, which is not unexpected given the cast. If you love movies and are looking for something kind of different and original this is a good way to go. A really fun film to watch."