If you are a writer, or have ever fancied yourself one, you need to see the movie Stranger Than Fiction.
I went to a pre-screening with my friend and it was such a wonderful experience. I mean, seriously, when was the last time you can remember watching a movie while grinning practically the whole time, enthralled, actively involved and completely immersed in the story that you’re being shown?
I’ve been guilty of being a passive movie-watcher. There’s not a lot out there that impresses me. But once in a while there’s a movie that hits every nerve, makes me say “OH!” throughout, makes me completely relate to the characters and draws me right the hell in.
Stranger Than Fiction involves a rather interesting relationship between a writer and a character, and vice versa. It raises interesting questions about the nature of writing, of stories, of literature and story forms, of the duty of the creator and the created to their own respective worlds, with a nod at the weird little glimmer of reality where the two meet.
Will Ferrell usually plays a different kind of character, but in this I could totally believe in him as a stiff, numbers-obsessed IRS agent who’s suddenly in a situation he can’t puzzle out. Emma Thompson plays an AWESOME neurotic writer! While I was watching her I was like, “Oh my God. She GETS it.” Maggie Gyllenhaal was such a convincing bleeding-heart hippie baker . . . I was totally reminded of my college hippie days going to poetry jams. And Dustin Hoffman was his usual brilliant self—completely comfortable in the role of a literature professor who doesn’t appear to think it’s all that bizarre to be analyzing a story he’s become part of. (Queen Latifah was also in it, but I didn’t really have anything to say for or against her—I like her in everything else I’ve seen her in, but in this she felt like kind of an extra character.)
The last time I was this taken with a movie, it was also about writing. That movie was Adaptation.
Three words: Go see it.
Four words: Go see it NOW.