Stranger Than Fiction (2006)

Imagine if you lived your life as you did every day, with all the mundane yet unique aspects left entirely as they were. Have an idea? Good, now imagine if that life was the story of a famous author’s masterpiece. Would you feel elated, proud, or perhaps ashamed? I suppose it would depend on the nature of the ending; I reckon that you would feel hardly anything other than despair upon discovering that your whole existence was, in fact, penned by this individual and at the end of the “golden era” of your life he unexpectedly die.

Such a premise would be ludicrous to the sane. Yet against all conventions this is the predicament which I.R.S agent Harold Crig finds himself in one morning when he begins to hear a disembodied voice narrate his life. The voice is all knowing and all pervasive. It knows everything about him follows him to work and actively interferes; almost sabotage even, his professional and personal career.

So needless to say when he hears “little did he know this subtle yet innocuous event would result in his imminent death…” he freaks out more than a little. He sees a psychologist yet receives little yet advice to take prescription medication; fortunately he refuses and picks up her hardy tip to seek out someone who knows about literature. Thus we enter the next stage of the plot where Harold works with an English professor who helps him determine just what kind of “story” he is living.

Keeping track of his love interest remarks, how his life unravels, and of his business exploits he eventually concludes that he is within a comedy… or so he thinks. Thus begins the off-beat comedy starring Will Ferrell. It is an interesting premise and one which unfolds with a fascinating bravado.

Prior to this viewing I hadn’t seen this film for some years and so was immensely impressed with its presentation and overall production. The story is engaging as it is amusing. The characters are well shown and innovative with a thread execution which matches the intriguing nature of the plot. There are a few mishaps, as there always are, yet these are confined almost exclusively to the ideological perspective of the writers.

In all “Stranger Than Fiction” is an alternative movie for an alternative audience. This isn’t to say it is Indie, because it is not. However the story is different and might be a tad off-putting to some. So this is to say not all might enjoy the borderline macabre subtleties. For those people who seek out such productions, however, this tale will not disappoint


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