Harold Crick counts his steps, brushes his teeth the same way with the same amount of strokes and calculates the amount of time saved each day by taking a 43 minute lunch break. His life was organized, boring and uneventfulâ€”until the day his life started being narrated. That’s when he learned that he was going to die.
In Stranger than Fiction, Crick, played by Will Ferrell, is a passive guy working for the IRS. One day, he starts hearing voices narrating the moves he makes, "accuratelyâ€¦and with a better vocabulary," as Crick put it. He goes to a literature professor (Dustin Hoffman) to help him find out what book he is in.
Dr. Jules Hilbert: The thing to determine conclusively is whether you are in a comedy or a tragedy. Have you met anyone who simply might loathe the very core of you?
Harold Crick: I’m an IRS agent. Everyone hates me.
Dr. Jules Hilbert: Well, that sounds like a comedy!
Crick later finds out the voice he hears is actually a writer named Kay Eiffel (Emma Thompson). Eiffel is writing a book about a character named Harold Crick. Unbeknownst to her, Harold Crick is a real person and his fate is in her hands. She has horrible writers block so she hires an assistant (Queen Latifah) to give her inspiration. The muse-like assistant sits with Eiffel as she imagines ways for her character to die.
One lesson learned in the movie is that all comedies contain a love interest that first loathes the hero, and then falls in love with them. Maggie Gyllenhal’s character, Ana Pascal, is introduced into Stranger than Fiction with tax problems requiring an audit by an IRS agent, who of course is Harold Crick. She is everything he isn’t. Pascal has tattoos, likes cookies, owns a bakery and is completely unorganized as she hands Crick all of her important business papers, crumpled up in a large box. But somehow, they are bizarrely attracted.
Crick learns to live his life, because it may be over soon. The movie is very slow and boring just like Crick’s life until he realizes he may die. The movie is very well made, and it really picks up once Crick starts living his life to the fullest.
Stranger than Fiction was directed by Marc Forster (Monster’s Ball, Finding Neverland). It’s written by Zach Helm and was released in theaters in 2006.
The 113-minute movie has the same features on the DVD as well as the Blu-Ray, except the Blu-Ray is encoded in 1080p video with uncompressed audio. Special features include: deleted and extended scenes, funny on-set moments and multiple behind the scenes features. Stranger than Fiction is rated PG-13 and is released by Sony Pictures.