I was checking the television guide yesterday and ran across the last part of the movie, “Stranger Than Fiction”. When I originally saw this, I approached it with caution since Will Farrell movies are not necessarily among my favorites. (My husband would immediately protest that “Talledega Nights” is a classic, but that is another topic.) “Stranger Than Fiction”, however, also starred Emma Thompson, Dustin Hoffman, and Queen Latifah, and that tilted it into the “might as well try it category”. The essence of the story is that Farrell plays Harold Crick, an IRS employee who begins to experience strange sensations and hears a narrator speaking of him as if he is a character in a novel. Emma Thompson, who plays the author who has created Harold Crick, is not aware of his reality and she is stuck in trying to finish the book. Queen Latifah, in a marvelously understated role, plays the representative from the publisher who is an expert with assisting authors who are “stuck”. Dustin Hoffman plays a professor of literature whom Harold Crick turns to for advice.
In the meantime, Harold Crick’s real life (or does he have one?) has its own complications. The manner in which these elements are played out are crafted well notwithstanding a few typical Farrell moments. This is not a fall-out-of-your chair laughing sort of movie, but chuckles are in order as well as moments of tenderness that I am a sucker for. There are also wonderful insights into human nature – what would you do with your last few days if you thought you were fated to die? I do not consider this to be a chick flick, although there aren’t any car chases or explosions either. It is another one of those delightful movies that is well worth your time. I mean, you have lines like Dustin Hoffman saying to Will Farrell, “Well, we’ve determined that you’re not a Gollum.”