Movie Hype
New Releases, Oscar-Winners and Obscure Movies!
Stranger Than Fiction

A comedy movie directed by Marc Forster

< read all 18 reviews

Stranger Than Fiction Gives Ferrell a New Role

  • Mar 28, 2007
Pros: Cute script, great cast

Cons: Some people may lose interest quickly

The Bottom Line: Stranger Than Fiction is a cute movie sure to entertain writers of any kind-- especially fiction. Others, however, may lose interest quickly.

Plot Details: This opinion reveals major details about the movie''s plot.

"This is a story about a man called Harold Crick and his wristwatch." Harold (Will Ferrell) is an ordinary man who works as an IRS agent. He lives alone in an apartment and hasn't taken a vacation in years. Harold focuses virtually everything he does on numbers and percentages: how many brushstrokes he takes while brushing his teeth, how many steps to the bus stop... You get the idea. It is safe to say that Harold leads a relatively mundane life.

That is, until he starts hearing the voice of a British woman narrating everything that he does, as though he is in a story. Soon, Harold finds out that he is going to die, and finally begins to "live his life." By doing this, he meets and falls in love with a feisty baker, Ana Pascal (Maggie Gyllenhall) , learns to play the guitar, and discovers that the woman narrating his life is actually famed author Karen Eiffel (Emma Thompson). Harold meets with Karen, and they discuss the ending of the story.

I am not going to tell you much more than that... I don't want to spoil this great movie for you.

Stranger Than Fiction is most definitely a film for people who like to write fiction. Others might not "get it" or may lose interest quickly. While the story may appear to be about a man battling with an unseen narrator so that he can go on living his life, it is actually much more than that. Harold finally discovers the kind of person he really is because he is faced with the prospect of death.

The cast is fantastic. I sort of expected Ferrell to tank as Harold Crick, as it isn't the normal role we see him in. Sure, there are some hilarious parts when Ferrell gets to use the physical comedy he is famous for, but his one-liners and perfect delivery are what make this actor shine in this film. It's pretty surprising to see characters like Ferrell and Jim Carrey (The Number 23) step outside their comfort zone and into a more "serious" role. Even more surprising is the fact that they succeed.

Maggie Gyllenhall, known for her wild roles in cult and indie films (Secretary, Adaptation, World Trade Center), is ripe for the picking with mainstream Hollywood. She's gorgeous and an absolutely fantastic actress. I can't wait to see her as Rachel Dawes in 2008's The Dark Knight.

Emma Thompson, Dustin Hoffman and Queen Latifah are good, but they don't shine like Gyllenhall and Ferrell do. Hoffman and Thompson play the same characters that they've played before: neurotic, aloof, sarcastic... Not really a big stretch for them. Latifah is a bit muted as Eiffel's assistant, Penny. She's got some okay one-liners, but just doesn't have the good delivery she usually has. I think this is because she was given a relatively flat character.

Overall, Stranger Than Fiction is a terrific film, especially if you like to write. My husband, however, deemed it a "chick flick", so men beware.


Viewing Format: DVD
Video Occasion: Fit for Friday Evening
Suitability For Children: Suitable for Children Age 13 and Older

What did you think of this review?

Fun to Read
Post a Comment
More Stranger Than Fiction reviews
Quick Tip by . October 19, 2010
I wasn't eager to see this. Then I couldn't wait to persuade my husband to see it. A weird premise beautifully executed.
review by . November 08, 2008
Stranger Than Fiction
The premise is simple but interesting: guy starts hearing a disembodied voice narrating his life and realizes he's a character in someone else's story. That's pretty much it. But the movie manages to deliver its deeper message, one about living instead of just being, without the usual everybody-be-happy cheesiness which defines so many "feel good" movies.  Will Ferrell's turn as lonely IRS agent Harold Crick is a far cry from his usual onscreen persona but that may well be what makes this …
review by . March 05, 2009
I was pleasantly surprised at this very well-done film with a highly likeable Will Ferrell as Harold Crick who is a character in a novel by Emma Thompson (I forgot her character's name) that Emma has scheduled to die.  Somehow Crick's watch does something to make him real and he can hear Emma's narration of her novel as she types it.  Crick starts to realize that all Emma's observations about him are accurate, so when she says that a certain event will set things in motion that Crick will …
review by . April 05, 2009
Short Attention Span Summary (SASS):     1. Harold Crick (Will Ferrell) is a tax man. As a matter of fact, he's the kind of serious tax man that the Beatles sang about:   "Now my advice for those who die, (Taxman!)   Declare the pennies on your eyes, (Taxman!)   `Cos I'm the Taxman."   2. Crick begins hearing a female voice in his head narrating his life, and starts to take it really seriously when she starts talking about impending doom. …
review by . December 17, 2008
posted in Movie Hype
Harold Crick Was an Ordinary Man Until...
Imagine that your whole life, your entire existence was the creation of another human being's mind. What would it feel like to know that your actions were not the result of individual thought but were born of an author's imagination? How would you react if you knew that all of your pains and problems were no more than the whims of an eccentric writer? What if your fate, your world, even your personality were just the invention of another person? And what if your life was about to end and you knew, …
review by . February 07, 2009
Best-selling author, Karen Eiffel (Emma Thompson), is struggling with her newest novel. How will she kill the main character, Harold Crick? Little does she know, Harold Crick (Will Ferrell) is real and she is writing his life story. Harold has been hearing her voice in his head as she narrates every moment of his mundane life as an IRS agent. Harold seeks out help from a professor of literature (Dustin Hoffman), and together they try to figure out who the voice is and what it means for Harold's …
review by . December 18, 2007
What an intriguing concept - an ordinary if somewhat introverted man who, unbeknownst to himself, is actually a character in a novel-in-progress, and a novelist whose character, unbeknownst to her, is real. Not an easy story to write or film. Nevertheless, both have been done, and done well. The screenplay makes the whole thing comprehensible, and the stellar acting makes it believable. It was hard to accept that this restrained actor is Will Ferrell. He DOES have talent, and a bit of that goofy …
review by . October 01, 2007
posted in Movie Hype
I was pleasantly surprised at this very well-done film with a highly likeable Will Ferrell as Harold Crick who is a character in a novel by Emma Thompson (I forgot her character's name) that Emma has scheduled to die. Somehow Crick's watch does something to make him real and he can hear Emma's narration of her novel as she types it. Crick starts to realize that all Emma's observations about him are accurate, so when she says that a certain event will set things in motion that Crick will die, he …
review by . September 07, 2007
Truly enjoyable movie. Thompson creates yet another memorable character. She truly excells at portraying cynical characters. Gyllenhaal's character, although not as memorable, was well portrayed. Huffman was excellent as well. And Ferrell, well, it was good. His expressions' portraying a lost sad man living a completely uneventul life won me over. The movie, as opposed to its characters, refused to fall into cynicism. It is intersting to note that the most cynic of the characters goes outside of …
review by . August 22, 2007
I have a hobby as a writer. I've actually had some of my work published. I've done some pretty awful, horrible things to some of my characters. I've killed them, maimed them, subjected them to abuse parents, drugs, fear, danger and death. All in the name of good writing and conflict!    So you'll understand that the idea of ever meeting some of my characters, especially, say, in a dark alleyway, is something that fills me with some sense of trepidation.    This …
About the reviewer
Candice Cain ()
Ranked #142
I own the Candy Cain Travel Co. in Brookhaven, NY. I am a certified Professional Bridal Consultant with the Association of Bridal Consultants and my agency is certified by IATA and CLIA. I specialize … more
Consider the Source

Use Trust Points to see how much you can rely on this review.

Your ratings:
rate more to improve this
About this movie


Stranger than Fiction
Theatrical film poster Directed by Marc Forster Produced by Lindsay Doran Written by Zach Helm Starring Will Ferrell
Maggie Gyllenhaal
Dustin Hoffman
Emma Thompson
Queen Latifah
Tony Hale Music by Britt Daniel
Brian Reitzell Cinematography Roberto Schaefer Editing by Matt Chesse Distributed by Columbia Pictures Release date(s) November 10, 2006 Running time 113 min. Language English Budget $30 million Gross revenue $40,660,952

Stranger than Fiction is a 2006 American comedy drama film. The film is directed by Marc Forster, written by Zach Helm, and stars Will Ferrell, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Dustin Hoffman, Queen Latifah, and Emma Thompson. Columbia Pictures distributed the film.[1]

Contents []

[edit] Plot

Harold Crick (Will Ferrell) is an auditor for the Internal Revenue Service, living his entire life based on the timing of his wristwatch. He is given the job to audit an intentionally tax-delinquent baker, Ana Pascal (Maggie Gyllenhaal) to whom he is awkwardly attracted. On the same day, he begins hearing the voice of a woman that is omnisciently narrating the events in his life, but he is unable to communicate with the voice. On his way home, Harold's watch stops working and he resets it using the time given by a bystander; the voice narrates "little did he know that this simple, seemingly innocuous act would result in his ...

view wiki
© 2015, LLC All Rights Reserved - Relevant reviews by real people.
Movie Hype is part of the Network - Get this on your site
This is you!
Ranked #
Last login
Member since