Stranger Than Fiction
The current career path for comics great and small is to turn in some high-cash low-brow pieces, and then turn to something completely different in which audiences and fans will say, "Wow, he has depth."

This is only sorta the case with Will Ferrell in Stranger Than Fiction. I say sorta because Ferrell has always had a kind of put-upon persistence that he's cultivated into bigger, louder, faster for his movie efforts. Unlike some comics, though, you can tell there is a real intellect at work.

As Harold Crick, and you will not forget that name soon after watching the movie, Ferrell turns in a stunning performance that is all Ferrell with none of the bigger/louder/funnier trimmings that have made him a star. Instead, he plays a subdued kind of IRS accountant who, as the highlight of his day, counts everything. The number of toothbrush strokes he uses, the number of steps he takes to the bus, the tiles on the ceiling, etc.

Until . . . of course, something strange happens. His life starts to be narrated by novelist Kay Eiffel (the always delicious Emma Watson) who has had writer's block for ten years and is now being assisted by the delightful (and delicious) Queen Latifah as assistant/publisher-spy Penny Escher. This is mostly annoying for Harold, and humorous for us, as Harold tries to figure out what's going on inside his head. After seeing a psychiatrist, he goes instead to see Professor Jules Hibbert, expertly played by an almost whimsical Dustin Hoffman. Harold is prompted by this, as his narrator, Eiffel has stated that he is going to die.

Added to this, he finds himself attracted to the tax-protesting bakery owner Ana Pascal (the equally delicious Maggie Gyllenhaal) whom he has been assigned to audit for tax-evasion (she refuses to pay for military and election campaign-related funds). As with all such "death is coming" type movies, our hero now questions his daily grind. He discovers that the status quo has only been familiar, not fun, not enjoyable.

This life-is-there-to-be-enjoyed is quite well told, well acted, and well shot. I have no complaints with this movie, and in fact, nothing but praise. I love the conclusion and love the fact that the movie recognizes and states in itself that one conclusion would have been better than the other. I liked it both ways.

Go see this movie on the big screen and buy it when it comes out on DVD.
All your base are belong to us.

It could be that the purpose of my life is only to serve as a warning to others.
I absolutely loved this movie and cannot say enough good things about it. It was funny and witty, touching and profound. Two of my favorite parts has to be when Harold first hears he's going to die and starts shouting on the street corner, and when Kay recounts all her tragic heroes from novels past. But that's just two of my favorites. If I listed them all, I'd be paraphrasing the whole movie. My favorite quote though has to be from the guitar shop: "I'm compensating for something. Guess what?"
Sheldon: I'm not crazy. My mother had me tested.

~ The Big Bang Theory

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