Harold Crick breaks for the fourth wall of his own life when he discovers that he is in fact a character in a book being written in a parallel universe.
He begins hearing strange voices that turn out to be the narrator of the movie and eventually discovers the half written manuscript and being mystified, shows it to a critic friend of his who informs him that, given the trajectory of the story he is probably going to die at the end of it, and not only that, he must allow his death to happen in order to preserve the artistic integrity of the book.
This upsets him for obvious reasons, as well as for the fact that he has just began a relationship with a smart and beautiful young lady named Ana, played by Maggie Gyllenhaal.
I was surprised to find out that this movie wasn’t written by Charlie Kaufman, as similar as it is in theme and style to movies like Being John Malkovich and Adaptation etc.
It was in fact written by Zach Helm (Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium) and stars Will Ferrell in what is my favorite movie of his. Ferrell is of course best known for his mainstream comedies which usually feature him doing some variation of the same shtick. Here he shows he actually has some damn fine acting chops.
This is a smartly written, clever and inventive movie with a good heart, and those are elements that put it right in my wheelhouse as far as the kinds of movies that will get a lot of re-watches out of yours truly.
Stranger Than Fiction gets a four out of five: GREAT.