Although Stranger Than Fiction sounded intriguing to me when it was released, I avoided it because of my distaste for Will Ferrell. He specializes in a goofy style of humor that makes me cringe. I made the mistake of going to see "Bewitched" and told myself that I would not be fooled again, no matter how good the trailer looked. A holiday with no plans will do strange things to your mind, however. I ended up watching Stranger Than Fiction yesterday, and I am glad that I did.
For those who don't know the basic plot:
Stranger Than Fiction is the story of Harold Crick, an IRS agent who is living a rather boring and predictable life. He lives alone and has no social life; he barely even interacts with his coworkers. Then one day, he hears the voice of a British woman narrating his movements, which makes him think he is going mad. Although he doesn't know it at first, there is a reclusive author who happened to name the protagonist of her next novel Harold Crick. When she says in her narration that Harold is about to die, he realizes that he has to find her to save himself.
This is the movie for people who hate Will Ferrell movies. He totally plays against type. I can now put him in the same category as Jim Carrey -- actors who are best known for their comedy but who are more appealing to me in serious roles. The scene where Ferrell plays the guitar and sings is one of my favorites. It was tender and sweet, and he didn't pull a face once.
This movie could have easily been turned into a comedy like John Candy's Delirious. Luckily the creators leaned more toward the Jim Carrey movie The Truman Show and explored the feelings of the "fictional" character. I would highly recommend it.