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Stranger Than Fiction
Ian Jay at 8:25PM, Nov. 12, 2006
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I went to see this movie today, expecting your average wacky Will Ferrell comedy. What I got was different– yet far better. Ferrell does a total reversal from his “Ricky Burgundy” loud-'n'-ludicrous acting to play Harold Crick, a quiet, awkward IRS auditor who also happens to be the doomed main character in a book being written by neurotic novelist Ellen Ferris (played by someone who I've seen before, but whose name I can't seem to put my finger on. Anyways, she's great.) The film turns out to be an elegant, literate, yet still down-to-earth dark comedy (or perhaps greyish comedy) on the nature of life and fate, and how we react to both. Plus it's also got Dustin Hoffman and Queen Latifah in it, a strangely high amount of star power for such an artsy flick.

In short: Watch this movie. You won't be sorry.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:56PM
Hawk at 1:03AM, Nov. 13, 2006
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My friend compared it to The Truman Show, because like Jim Carrey, Ferrel was able to momentarily step out of his cornball antics and give us something different… something that wound up being good. He also recommended it. I think I'll see it.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:45PM
kingofsnake at 9:38AM, Nov. 13, 2006
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I was very impressed by the writing in it. Not necessarily the dialoge, although that was good, but the way the story was built. Because although she was writing the story about harold crick, in her story he didn't have the outside influence of the narrator, and with the added influence of the narrator changing his motivation for doing the things he did, it drastically changed what the overaching point of the same character through his intentionality. Basically, had Harold not heard the narrator, and performed the exact same actions for the reasons initially intended by the author it would've made more sense for the narrative to have it end the way initially intended. However, once it was clear that Harold philosophical transformation during he film had an external influence that altered his reactions and changed his intentionality for doing primarily the same actions it made more sense for the narrative to end the way it did. It really has some of the best structure and character analysis I've ever seen in a mocie.



As far as Will Farell's performance went I think I'd compare it more to Punch-Druck Love, where you take an actor whos primarily known for “wacky antics” like Adam Sandler and internalize most of the comedy and make it far more subtle.

“Harold furiously threw his lamp around the room for no apparent reason!”

last edited on July 14, 2011 1:15PM
Jillers at 11:31AM, Nov. 13, 2006
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I'm glad to hear the good reviews about this movie, because I want to see it, but was afraid I'd be so disappointed in it - seems like it's along the lines of what I was hoping it'd be.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:08PM
subcultured at 4:52PM, Nov. 13, 2006
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this actually would have been a perfect role for jim carrey.

it's kinda funny how carrey's next movie is a twisted version of this film. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o63NMR2ARJI
J
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:00PM
BigFishComic at 9:16PM, Nov. 13, 2006
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wow…23 looks pretty damn good.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:22AM
hpkomic at 1:24AM, Nov. 14, 2006
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This is one I wanted to see, along with The Prestige. So I'll add it to my “to watch” list.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:50PM
Ian Jay at 3:55PM, Nov. 14, 2006
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subcultured
this actually would have been a perfect role for jim carrey.

it's kinda funny how carrey's next movie is a twisted version of this film. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o63NMR2ARJI

Uh-oh. Jamie Hewlett's gonna have a fit about this.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:56PM
Hawk at 5:27PM, Nov. 14, 2006
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BigFishComic
wow…23 looks pretty damn good.

I was going to agree with you… then it said that it was from director Joel Schumacher.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:45PM
subcultured at 1:58PM, Nov. 15, 2006
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that's one thing i was shocked about…joel made gay batman, but he also made phone booth. so hopefully this will be a good movie with less man nipples.
J
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:00PM
kingofsnake at 2:42PM, Nov. 15, 2006
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phonebooth was very good. like hitchcock good
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:15PM
Mazoo at 2:52PM, Nov. 19, 2006
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I saw this movie and I thought it was fantastic! Some of the people I saw it with didn't like it, but, like some of you have said, they were expecting a typical Elf- or Anchorman-type movie. I say it's much better than Ferrel's usual stupid-funny movies (then again, I'm not really a fan of the stupid-funny comedy from the beginning). I thought the cinemtography was excellent… of how they usually showed the author and the professor without their shoes, or the moment where you could only see the professor's feet as Harold put the manuscript for the book on the lifegaurd's chair. It was just really good.

It did remind me a bit of The Truman Show and Little Miss Sunshine in just that it was an actual meaningful movie that had a point and a message to get across. Not just some flitsy, money-making piece of crap.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:56PM
kaminari at 4:13PM, Nov. 29, 2006
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I went to see this with my boyfriend last night and I agree that it was pretty good.
It was kind of weird though because before we decided to go see a movie, we watched the first eight episodes of the anime Death Note.

Its about a boy who obtains a notebook from a death god and whoever's name he writes in the book (so long as he knows his face), that person will die and he can specify their actions leading up to a death he specifies.



I am FS2 champion! w00t!!
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:13PM
Kristen Gudsnuk at 5:57PM, Nov. 29, 2006
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the actress' name is Emma Thompson, and you may know her from “nanny mcphee” (hehehehehe I need to stop watching kids movies) “Love Actually” (Hugh Grant as Prime Minister?? HELLS YEAH) or “Sense and Sensibility” (Hugh Grant again yay!) among other things.
yeah, it was a pretty cool movie. I thought that *VERY CRYPTIC SPOILERS!* she should have made the other choice in the end though.
Just me.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:22PM
kingofsnake at 7:46AM, Nov. 30, 2006
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I know her from Much Ado About Nothing.

TOTAL SPOILER
Also, I disagree about the ending. In the book she was writing his character expressed an existentialist abusrdity of man akin to Camus, the ultimate inevitable irony of life. The notion that a man who wasn't living his live, as much as just existing, who is, at the beginning of the movie a waste of humanity, would die an accidental hero, is the key to the point of her novel. But because the real Harold heard the voice, knew he would die, and went willingly to this death in order to help express an idea greater than himself he no longer reflected this idea. If he died it would no longer reflect the absurdity of life it would only reinforce a notion of a transcendant permanence, which is the opposite of the goal of the book. Thats why, when he didn't die, Dustin Hoffman said it didn't make sense with the rest of the book, and she said, I know I'll have to change it. The character Harold's death at the end of her book would've contradicted the philosphic point she was trying to make with it, because of the real Harold's motivation in knowingly going to this death.

I think people want unhappy endings more and more just because they are sick of “Hollywood,” Deus ex machina, endings. Clearly to such an extent that they lose sight of the message the film is trying to present. Sometimes it just wouldn't make sense with the movie for it to end unhappily. This movie is a good example. As is The Cooler with William H. Macy. Or Layer Cake. Of course there are some movies that should've gone the other way. Clerks, for example, would've made far more sense philosophically with the original ending.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:15PM
Rich at 8:07AM, Nov. 30, 2006
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BigFishComic
wow…23 looks pretty damn good.

QFT! 23 looks like it could be absolutely amazing.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:07PM
Tyrapendragon at 2:05PM, Dec. 1, 2006
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You make a really good point, kingofsnake. I liked this movie a lot and so did most of the people in the theater, at least from the laughing and sighing going on.
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:35PM

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