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Sunday, March 04, 2007

Stranger Than Fiction

Last night, I watched Stranger Than Fiction starring Will Farrell and Emma Thompson. The movie was released in 2006, and while I'm going to try my best not to reveal any spoilers, I can't promise that, so if you don't want to risk anything being given away before you see the film, you better click away now.

Will Farrell plays IRS Auditor Harold Crick. One day, he begins hearing a voice and it sounds as if it's narrating his life. No one else can hear it. He sees a psychiatrist and she tells him he's schizophrenic. Harold insists that he isn't. The voice isn't telling him what to do, it's just telling his life like a story. The doctor tells him that maybe he should see someone familiar with literature. Enter Dustin Hoffman as a college professor. He thinks Harold is nuts too--until he mentions that the narrator said: "Little did he know..."

Along the way, Harold falls in love and he doesn't want to die. The question is, will he be able to stop it?

I really liked this movie. Maybe it's because I'm a writer and I feel like my characters are real, but after watching this, I was so glad I write romance. I'd hate to kill one of my people. Especially since they come in as fully-formed human beings. What if they are real? You never know, especially after watching this movie. :-)

Will Farrell, who I normally don't like, played this role perfectly. I didn't think of him as an actor, but as Harold Crick. His reactions to something weird were wonderful.

The things I didn't like? While the movie got a lot right about being an author, it got a lot wrong too, at least in my experience as an author. This was more like Hollywood's vision of what it's like to be a writer. First off, Karen Eiffel (Emma Thompson) has writer's block for like 12 years. I understand the block, but 12 years? Second, her publisher sent an assistant to help her finish the book that she was 10 years over deadline on. Ten years! Um, yeah, sure they're going to pay for an assistant to help an author that they can't be counting on at this point to deliver anything. My guess is that they're more likely to have written her off by now. And wow, her early books must still be raking in the royalties because she hasn't had to get a day job for that ten year period and she still has a pretty damn nice apartment. Speaking as an author who hasn't even been able to seriously consider quitting her day job yet, my response was, "yeah, right."

My other quibble is the romance between Harold and Ana. I wanted more here because I found it difficult to buy they'd developed feelings for each other so quickly. Still, it was sweet and I liked the two characters together.

Overall, though, the movie was a very enjoyable way to spend a couple of hours. It's not laugh out loud funny, IMO, but the characters are people I cared about and I wanted things to all work out.

My rating: 4 Stars

And head on over to 2 B Read. I blogged today about some movies I really enjoyed.