HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Flamingo Kid, The
Queen, The
Avengers: Endgame
Vanishing Act
Critters Attack!
Prison on Fire
Dragged Across Concrete
Do the Right Thing
Hellboy
Pond Life
Lego Movie 2: The Second Part, The
Third Wife, The
Shazam!
Follow Me
Leto
Fugitive Girls
Missing Link
Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith, The
Pet Sematary
Oh... Rosalinda!!
Dumbo
Kaleidoscope
Night Is Short, Walk On Girl
Knight of Shadows: Between Yin and Yang, The
Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich
Klute
Meow
Killer Crocodile
Nutcracker Prince, The
Secret World of Og, The
Benjamin
Fifth Cord, The
Man Could Get Killed, A
Cyborg 009: Kaiju War
Heavy Trip
Nightmare Weekend
Blue Ice
Great Scout & Cathouse Thursday, The
Incident, The
Hell's Angels
   
 
Newest Articles
Flight of the Navigator and the 80s Futurekids
Trains and Training: The British Transport Films Collection Volume 13 on DVD
Holiday from Hell: In Bruges on Blu-ray
The Comedy Stylings of Kurt Russell: Used Cars and Captain Ron
Robot Rocked: The Avengers Cybernauts Trilogy on Blu-ray
Hammer's Bloodthirsty Bad Girls 1970: Lust for a Vampire and Countess Dracula
Hammer to Fall: Kiss Me Deadly on Blu-ray
Home of the Grave: The House That Dripped Blood and Asylum on Blu-ray
Wondrous Women: Supergirl vs Captain Marvel
Things Have Changed: Films You'd Be Insane to Make Now
The Hole in the Ground: Director Lee Cronin Interview
She's Missing: Director Alexandra McGuinness Interview
Woo's the Boss: Last Hurrah for Chivalry & Hand of Death on Blu-ray
Get Ahead in Showbiz: Expresso Bongo and It's All Happening
Outer Space and Outta Sight: Gonks Go Beat on Blu-ray
   
 
  Stranger Than Fiction Off The PageBuy this film here.
Year: 2006
Director: Marc Forster
Stars: Will Ferrell, Emma Thompson, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Dustin Hoffman, Queen Latifah, Tony Hale, Linda Hunt, Tom Hulce, Andrew Rothenberg, Larry Neumann Jr, Denise Hughes, Christian Stolte, William Dick, Guy Massey, Martha Espinoza, T.J. Jagodowski, Peter Grosz
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance, Fantasy
Rating:  4 (from 1 vote)
Review: Harold Crick (Will Ferrell) lives every day just like the last, waking up at the same time, brushing his teeth the same number of times, catching the same bus, getting into work as a tax inspector at the same time, and eventually going home at the same time, where he dines alone. This is not really living to his fullest potential, but Harold is too numb in his world to see that until he begins to notice a voice following him around. A voice that sounds as if it is narrating his days and nights and making observations about him - he wishes it would stop, especially when the voice says he will die soon...

Since time immemorial, comedians have wished to prove themselves dramatic actors, and Will Ferrell was no exception as he took this part in Stranger Than Fiction. Just as the similarly successful Jim Carrey had before him, a science fiction, or at least fantasy-tinged story was what attracted him, only where Carrey's The Truman Show proved to be an excellent effort all round, this item fell short of those heights by quite some distance. It sounds like such a clever idea that you could not see why it had not been done before until you actually watched it, and it turned out to be a dog of a contrivance.

This was not Robert Benchley narrating Road to Utopia territory, although there were comedic bits and pieces in Zach Helm's script, but proof that what might have been fine for a quick sketch on television fell apart when stretched to the length of a two hour movie. Too many questions are raised for the story to do justice to, sure we can find out whose voice this is following Harold about, but Helm never got to grips with why this could have been happening, and his attempts to offer this profundity were underwhelming. The voice we find out belongs to a writer called Karen Eiffel (Emma Thompson), and she's suffering mightily for her art.

So much so that she is almost suicidal with writer's block, and looking like a junkie going cold turkey. It is Harold's life she is inadvertantly writing about, and she plans to kill him off at the end of the novel, if she ever reaches it, leading the hapless IRS man to flounder in the face of this God figure dictating his every move and every try at wriggling out of his fate doesn't help. Eiffel's plan seems to be to offer him a chance at a fulfilling existence, then cruelly take it away just as he's settled, which could be some accusation against the deity who arbitirarily ends lives, or a criticism against authors being too blasé about how they treat their characters. Whichever, the result is irksomely twee.

Not to mention hard to take as a big statement when none of it has been thought out further than "Wouldn't this be cute? Oh, and wouldn't that be sad?" This superficiality would operate as a comfort to those viewers looking for hope that their humdrum days might be brightened up by that chance of beneficial change around the corner, but anyone looking for anything deeper will be let down. Stranger Than Fiction might have been better as an ultra-pretentious European arthouse movie, because here it is watery and undernourishing in spite of a very decent cast. As the love interest who at first rejects and then falls in unlikely love with Harold, Maggie Gyllenhaal looked to have been cast for her way around making her role's baking sound like an inviting advertising voiceover, Dustin Hoffman is twinkly but no more as the professorial help Harold seeks, and Queen Latifah remains surprisingly humourless. The climax which sees Eiffel wonder whether to kill off her protagonist is thin, and the opinion that she will create a masterpiece if she does has no basis anywhere else in the movie. Music by Britt Daniel and Brian Reitzell.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 1785 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
  Rachel Franke
Paul Shrimpton
  Desbris M
Enoch Sneed
  Derrick Smith
Darren Jones
   

 

Last Updated: