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Will Ferrell stars as Harold Crick, a lonely IRS agent whose mundane existence is transformed when he hears a mysterious voice narrating his life. With the help of Professor Jules Hilbert (Dustin Hoffman), Harold discovers he's the main character in a novel-in-progress and that the voice belongs to Karen Eiffel (Emma Thompson), an eccentric author famous for killing her main characters in creative ways. Harold must quickly track down Eiffel and stop her before she conjures up a way to finish him off.
Much was written about Will Ferrell's first "dramatic role" as Harold Crick, an IRS auditor who begins hearing a voice narrating his life. But Stranger Than Fiction is hardly a drama. However, what Ferrell does--like Jim Carrey before him in The Truman Show--is handle a toned-down character with genuineness and affection: you believe he is this guy. Crick leads a lonely life filled with numbers and routines. While at first he considers the voice a nuisance, Crick decides more action is needed when it speaks of "his demise." Enter Professor Jules Hilbert (Dustin Hoffman), who takes on the absurd notion with revelry, trying to find out what kind of book Crick's life is leading. It turns out that the voice Crick is hearing belongs to Kay Eiffel (Emma Thompson), a very real--and troubled--author who is writing a book in which Crick is a fictional character. As usual with these things, the stuffed shirt learns to live a better life--Crick even falls for one of his audits, a brash baker named Ana (Maggie Gyllenhaal). Marc Foster (Monster's Ball, Finding Neverland) has the right tone for the film, using great urban scenes (the unnamed city is Chicago) with interesting visualizations of Crick's world of numbers. He also directs Ferrell, Hoffman, and Gyllenhaal to their most charming performances (plus Linda Hunt and Tom Hulce pop up in two funny scenes). Ferrell succeeds in being a romantic lead you can root for; a scene where he eats Ana's freshly baked cookies is totally delightful without a hint of sarcasm. Screenwriter Zach Helm has two personal traits with his story: like Crick he followed his heart (he stopped rewriting scripts and only worked on his own) and like Eiffel, the final results are not a masterpiece, but good, and entertaining enough. Britt Daniel of the band Spoon worked on the dynamite soundtrack.--Doug Thomas
I originally only watched this movie because I have a massive and overwhelming girl-crush on Emma Thompson. Read morePublished 16 days ago by robyn
i watched this movie to examine how, exactly, a writer convinces us that what is happening is real enough for us to believe it. Read morePublished 28 days ago by A. Jane Perkins
A fantastic, imaginative movie! This one of a kind movie tells the story of Harold Crick, a bored-out-of-his-mind IRS agent who inexplicably begins hearing a voice which appears... Read morePublished 1 month ago by concerned consumer
One of my all time favorite movies. Wonderful storytelling and acting and just plain quirky and romantic.Published 1 month ago by Mr Smitty
smart, funny, moving...everything you want in a great chick flick! (And I think my husband will like it too.)Published 1 month ago by MLC Bookstore
This is my favorite Will Farrel movie. It's funny but not stupid funny so if that's what you're looking for don't buy this movie. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Jennifer Stapleton
One of the best movies...how can you go wrong with Ferrel!
In my opinion he is the funniest of all the SNL...although many compare.