Harold Crick (Will Ferrell) is a dour Chicago auditor for the Internal Revenue Service who is awakened alone each morning by his Timex watch, eats alone, counts the number of steps he walks for fun, focuses on ways to save time tying his tie, and brushes his teeth exactly 76 times (38 vertical strokes, 38 horizontal). One day, Harold begins to hear a voice that describes his thoughts and actions as if he were a character in a book. Harold attempts to communicate with the speaker, but soon realizes the voice does not know that he can hear it. The voice of his daily narration is actually that of author Karen Effiel (Emma Thompson), an author writing his story though she believes it to be fictional. Crick's bewilderment soon turns to anxiety when the voice narrates that his watch has set in motion a series of events that will result in his imminent death.
Average Rating for Stranger Than Fiction  - 4 out of 5
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Stranger Than Fiction Kevin Stanley
Harold Crick (Will Ferrell) is a normal guy that wakes up one morning with a very strange condition - he has an internal monologue. His whole life is being narrated upon by a woman"s voice inside his head - but more accurately and with a better vocabulary than he himself could manage. And no matter what Harold does he can"t quite shake it, that feeling of being watched, being followed, that feeling that he might just becoming schitzophrenic.
Emma Thompson plays the washed-up and washed-out writer Kay Eiffel. Sitting in her white-walled empty office as a desk a single telephone in the corner and only and a plant for company. Tired and fuelled entirely by black coffee and cigarettes she"s a mess and although she"s a world renowned writer she hasn"t had a published book in years. Her problem is writer"s block. She can"t figure out how to finish her book. But she does know one thing. She intends to kill off her central character - one certain Harold Crick.
Harold meanwhile is figuring a few things out in the puzzle and visits a literacy professor (Dustin Hoffman) who happens to be a huge fan of Eiffel"s novels. Harold"s first task is to figure out whether the story that he appears to be the protagonist of is a comedy or a tragedy - which is clearly fairly important to the eventual outcome and his personal fate.
Thompson is a delight as novelist, Eiffel, world-weary and worn out she handles the character nuances beautifully. With support from Maggie Gyllenhaal - as Ana Pascal the baker that Crick falls in love with - who is as lovable as ever.
But it"s Ferrell who steals the movie, reining in all of his usual over-the-top antics and mannerisms, pulling off a masterly and mesmeric straight performance - perhaps one of which he never seemed capable. There"s no doubt that Ferrell rarely fails to be funny in his movies, but just as when Jim Carrey stopped being silly and began to act for real in serious films, the change in Ferrell here from earlier works is a revelation.
A delightful and fresh movie, besides a couple of slightly lazy plot clichés, Stranger Than Fiction is perfect.
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