Thursday, March 8, 2007

Stranger Than Fiction (2006, Marc Forster)

"An IRS auditor suddenly finds himself the subject of narration only he can hear: narration that begins to affect his entire life, from his work, to his love-interest, to his death."

A lot of film buffs couldn't wait to write this one off as a Charlie Kaufman rip off. Almost nobody went to go see it, and very few film buffs were in that group of people who actually saw it in the theaters. The film had the good reviews,it had the solid cast, the pretty good director, and a very talked about script. Why did no one go see it? Why did no one begin to recommend it to other people? Why do people still not talk about the film even now that it's out on dvd? Why? I seriously don't know and it's a damn shame because it's one of the best mainstream hollywood efforts of last year.

The film has a certain sweet charm that never gets old. The writing is witty and smart, but never too smart for it's own sake. It's also never dumbed down also. The direction is also top notch. Sure, it's not anything out of this world but Forster does a great job at keeping the film moving very fast while still having a slight sense of style to it all. All the performances are pretty great. Again, nothing out of this world but the cast does a good job in all their roles. That is all of them except for Will Ferrell, who does an excellent job in his role. The film works perfectly because of his performance. Ferrell adds a certain innocence and sweetness to his character which is always kept perfectly balanced. He never goes over the top and instead chooses to go for a subtle style of comedy.The golden globes really got it right with nominating him. Every dramatic scene in the film also manages to hit the emotional pull it was going for. You can't help but feel bad for Harold Crick as the film reaches it's interesting climax.

The film is not anything out of the world. It's just an all around well made film that manages to entertain it's audience while still keeping it's wit intact. It really is one of the most underrated films of last year.

- ***1/2

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