Stranger Than Fiction (2006)
February 28, 2023 8:39 AM - Subscribe

[TRAILER] Harold Crick is a lonely IRS agent whose mundane existence is transformed when he hears a mysterious voice narrating his life.

73% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes, Stranger Than Fiction shows that Will Ferrell is more than just the frenetic comedian he'd previously been known as (cf Talladega Nights, released the same year). Ferrell's quiet and unassuming Harold Crick is a stunning contrast to Maggie Gyllenhaal's boisterous and luminous Ana, but the two actors work so well together that the character's chemistry becomes obvious. Dustin Hoffman plays, well, Dustin Hoffman, while Queen Latifah and Emma Thompson spar over the latter's inability to progress in her work (just don't call it writer's block).

I come back to this movie every couple of years. It's my favorite Ferrell movie by far.
posted by hanov3r (14 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
"I brought you flours."
posted by DirtyOldTown at 8:52 AM on February 28, 2023 [15 favorites]

Such an incredible cast, and definitely my favorite thing Will Ferrell has ever done (well, apart from isolated favorite lines in goofy vehicles like Zoolander and Old School). Emma Thompson is divine and I love the idea of wrestling with what to do with a "real" fictional character.

And yes, the "flours" line is heart-melty.
posted by knownassociate at 9:18 AM on February 28, 2023 [2 favorites]

I might have once learned to play "Whole Wide World" on the guitar because of this movie.
posted by hanov3r at 9:19 AM on February 28, 2023 [5 favorites]

And, of course, I forgot to include the JustWatch information for folks looking to stream it.
posted by hanov3r at 9:20 AM on February 28, 2023

Quite liked this movie. Particularly admired the fact that if he'd died, it *would* have been a narratively better ending. But that actually made the "worse" ending the better one instead.
posted by kyrademon at 9:36 AM on February 28, 2023 [2 favorites]

Will Ferrell and Emma Thompson are both amazing in this. I don't normally like Dustin Hoffman much but I did like him in this one. Everyone else is not only great but very well cast. This is a very rewatchable movie for me. I catch a new thing or two each time.
posted by Clinging to the Wreckage at 9:42 AM on February 28, 2023 [2 favorites]

This and "Everything Must Go" (which I still think of as "Why Don't You Dance") really showed what he's capable of beyond being an incredibly talented goofball.

Also, Emma Thompson is glorious and Maggie Gyllenhaal makes her MPDG-ish character work.

And yes... flours.
posted by drewbage1847 at 9:49 AM on February 28, 2023

A++, will watch more times. Sweet people, all around.
posted by Glinn at 1:07 PM on February 28, 2023 [1 favorite]

This was one of my favorite movies for awhile. I still like it a lot, but I feel like it falls down a bit with representation/inclusion.

Has Emma Thompson narrated any audiobooks? Does she have a podcast? I'd listen endlessly.
posted by curious nu at 6:21 PM on February 28, 2023

I only ever watched this movie once, mostly I think because of where I was in my life when I watched it, but it had a big impact on me. It's a very original story, very well executed.
posted by dry white toast at 8:46 PM on February 28, 2023

I agree with everyone here who really likes this movie; I remember being surprised that it was received quite coolly at the time (worse than the middlingly fresh RT score would suggest).
posted by grandiloquiet at 11:33 AM on March 1, 2023 [1 favorite]

The scenes of him in the hospital are so beautifully designed.
posted by jeoc at 7:09 PM on March 1, 2023

Don't miss the soundtrack connection with the band Spoon!

You may have spotted I Turn My Camera On during the guitar-buying scene.
posted by rustcrumb at 4:29 AM on March 2, 2023 [1 favorite]

I liked this movie a lot when it came out, but then when I revisited it a few years ago for some reason it rubbed me the wrong way. I can't even put my finger on why right now, something just wasn't working for me. I should watch it again and try and pinpoint what the problem was, because maybe I was just hungry or something. Still loved the sountrack, big fan of Spoon.
posted by mrjohnmuller at 5:23 AM on March 3, 2023

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