Stranger Than Fiction - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Stranger Than Fiction Reviews

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½ October 11, 2016
A really good movie with a really lame ending. A really good premise, that doesn't feel completely fleshed out. It's still really good, but I was wanting just a bit more out of it.
½ September 17, 2016
Stranger than Fiction succeeds as reasonably intelligent if popcornish entertainment. It's romance plot veers dangerously toward hipster-falls-in-love-with-Mr.Boring cliché, but the narrative themes (by which I mean the themes about narrative) are interesting and Will Ferrell is refreshing in this more subdued form. It doesn't push a big message but keeps the mood light and contemplative and achieves what it sets out to be, even if what it achieves is (deliberately) not exactly world-view-changing.
September 15, 2016
This movie is like marmelade, some people will like others will hate, but despite the not compelling narrative and the apathetic Will Ferrel's performances in the end of the day it is a different, original and surprising movie that has a clever way to end.
August 14, 2016
Despite a very slow start, this is quite a solid film - with an interesting and quirky plotline. A film that makes you think. Solid performances by both lead actors, Emma Thompson and Will Ferrell
½ August 12, 2016
Very silly and deep comedy drama, amazing performance by Will Ferrell.
½ August 6, 2016
Little known fact: I also have a narrator narrating my life. I don't have a magical watch, however, although the rate at which my wallet fills and then empties itself is pretty amazing in its own right. Solidly casted, Will Ferrell especially caught my fancy - he played his role to perfection. At times, though, everything in this movie worked out just a little too conveniently for my tastes.
July 21, 2016
Nicely woven story. Maggie and Will are a great non-match, and each give great performances. The Thompson and Hoffman characters seems a little naff and over played, which is perhaps not what one would expect given they are both more thespian in a traditional sense than the others. Very watchable, more than once or twice for me.
July 14, 2016
exelent movie! fantastic!" great! and will acts so good here!
½ July 13, 2016
Not your typical Will Ferrell movie and I think that's why I like it so much. Definitely comedy, but a different type. Not at all like "Old School" or "Talladega Nights". A different kind of humor so don't expect the same old thing. This is actually one of my favorite Will Ferrel movies and great performance by Maggie Gyllenhaal. Very original story.
May 25, 2016
I am not fan of Will Ferrell but in this he does the acting thing! It's a beautiful film.
½ May 15, 2016
Certainly strange. Smart, ambiguous, odd meta film. Interesting take on "live your life" and "fate vs freewill" stories we've seen many times before, coming to terms with mortality. Even a social commentary on tragedy being enjoyable entertainment. Wry and bittersweet. Or maybe it's just pretentious drivel so mixed up in tone it hurts. But i was hoping they would keep it a twisted dark comedy tale without a cheezy ending. No closure would have made this movie better I think. The only Will Ferrell movie I didn't hate.
½ May 14, 2016
It sort of confused me in the beginning but it got better by the end.
April 23, 2016
An endearing drama that is never too slow, never too taut. With restrained acts, inspite of an easily overdoable characters, it's a beautiful watch (pun intended).
The story of how a watch drives the life of a man, and how it saves him. The story of how work is not all in life - and finally of how we can control our own lives.
Ok to watch.
Super Reviewer
March 28, 2016
An interesting premise that is smoothly made into one good film.
½ March 27, 2016
Will Ferrell stretches his legs in this one. The comedy is spot on and the lines deliver with Maggie Gyllenhaal giving a solid performance as co star. Just a fun movie thats romantic and does not take itself too seriously.
March 17, 2016
At times stagnant, the film however progresses with more interesting scenes in the latter parts.
½ March 5, 2016
Never before have I seen a movie that dealt to me such anxiety and relief. Would recommend 10/10.
½ February 24, 2016
If you were aware of your death and how it would come about, would you live differently? Stranger Than Fiction is a 2006 film by Marc Foster that deals with these existential questions in a light, comedic fashion. This film follows the life of an average, dull IRS worker by the name of Harold Crick, played by Will Ferrell. The movie starts out with a brief narration of Harold Crick's meticulous daily routines; counting minutes to the bus stop and counting tooth brush strokes. Every deep though and every action is narrated by some unknown female. However the movie's plot begins to escalate when Harold starts hearing the voice of a narrator, describing his very actions. This awareness causes Harold to develop fear and paranoia. While this unusual change e, another character comes into play that does likewise. Ana Pascal, a woman Harold was suppose to audit for his job, soon becomes the prominent love interest in his life. With these two new changes, the narration and the romance, Harold's character begins to develop from his dull drabby personality to a more lively and adventurous one. Harold sees several doctors and therapists about the absurd voice he hears but they just brush it off as being a simple schizophrenic symptoms. Harold is reluctant to believe that, but it is not until he hears a key line that he realizes that he is infact not schizophrenic. ""little did he know... would result in his imminent death" This line plucks and uncomfortable chord within Harold because he realizes that the voice is omniscient, which concludes it must be from an outer source. Harold then goes on a quest to figure out who the author is that is narrating this voice, and comes up with a plan to try and convince the voice to not kill him.
Ferrells well known status adds to the emotional roller coaster that this movie is; without a well known comedic actor like him being the protagonist the movie could easily have been dark and morbid. His performance along with the innocence of the dramatic genre tug the viewers emotions. The viewer is not accustomed to seeing this face being put through such torture; therefore causing the viewers to root for this underdog, new to harm. Farrell also makes good use of scenes in which he does not have lines; his facial expressions and mannerisms portray what they need to perfectly.
The use of music to assist in the plot is also brilliant throughout this film. Punk music is used to describe Ana Pascal. The viewer is aware of this because when Ana is introduced in her bakery, light punk music is playing. The punk music serves as a contrast to the orderly technological sounds that occur whenever Crick is on scene. However as Crick becomes more aware of who he is and the larger story he is apart of the music changes as well. The music softens into a more melodious sound.
Overall the movie was well done for its specific purpose. I however prefer more dark, heart-wrenching tales. I would say on the objective level this film gets ? stars, but on my personal subjective level it would get ? stars.
½ February 24, 2016
Any film that can take a man like Will Ferrell and characterize him as the most boring IRS agent the world has ever seen is obviously not intended to be a bucket of laughs. But this interesting take on the funny man's persona actually gives the story an inviting edge. Although not altogether hilarious, the literary nuances and witty humour that is often employed serves as a decent substitute for comedic relief. The back and forth banter that goes on between Ferrell and other characters is equally amusing. First, you have the despising, anarchist baker played by Maggie Gyllenhaal, and then the insightful literary critic (reminiscent of a wise old owl) who is played by who other than Dustin Hoffman.

Stranger Than Fiction is a modern tale taking place in what appears to be a major city. Most of its inhabitants seem to lead fairly uninterrupted lives, that is, apart from Harold Crick. This character, played by Ferrell, is haunted by the ongoing narration of his life; a voice poignantly cast as Emma Thompson. The audience undergoes the impression that he must be going crazy until we actually discover that this British narrator exists in the flesh. She is no longer the voice in Harold's head, she is the voice to Harold's world. The dismality of Harold's life is reawakened when the authoress has him introduced to Ana Pascal (Gyllenhaal), the fiery young baker. Harold's determination to find this elusive narrator, and his interactions with Miss. Pascal lead him on an entertaining path to self discovery, to which he learns that it is perfectly acceptable to live a little; whether it's picking up a mint green guitar and rocking out, making lemon chiffon cake, or going to space camp.

The employment of special effects in the movie affords its viewers an element of fun. The way the meticulous tally of numbered brushstrokes floats above Harold's head as he brushes his teeth, or the levels of a soap dispenser being shown depleted with use in a bathroom; all this serves as a funny way in which Harold's life is closely documented. Not only is it a source of documentation and fun, it is a source of character. This technological display of numbers and shapes are very much like Harold himself, a man obsessed with order and detail. While this film element contributes to fastidiousness, the warmth that we discover in the movie's characters and environment is also developed in a number of other ways.

The comfort of the bakery takes precedence in its warm yellowed hues and gentle lighting, as well as the stonework outside and the beautiful round, wide window. The clutter of the literary critic's office is offset by the towering bookshelves and comfortable nook by the windows, furnished with brown leather chairs and sofas. The warmth of the characters is also expressed, and while Karen Eiffel (Thompson) does not naturally ooze rainbows and good feeling, her assistant, Penny (Latifah), seems capable of taming her wild antics.

It is a film worth enjoying. Nothing entirely brilliant, but the message is encouraging and entertaining. Harold's documentation of comedy vs. tragedy, Ana Pascal's chocolate chip cookies and Jules Hilbert's incessant coffee drinking speak of readily likeable characters, which in turn allows for a very likeable film. On a scale of love to hate, I give it a like, but more of a warm, happy kind of like.
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