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Stranger Than Fiction (2006)


Duration 1h 53m Rating (UK) 12A
Source of story An original screenplay
Director Marc Forster
Writers/Script Zach Helm
Starring Will Ferrell, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Emma Thompson, Queen Latifah, Dustin Hoffman, Anouk Aimée, Terry Jones, Jean-Louis Trintignant, John Cleese,

Elevator Pitch: Harold Crick, an IRS inspector, carries out his various activities accompanied by a voice which seems to be describing what he is doing. One day he arrives for his bus, but his watch has stopped. He asks for the time and resets it. The voice in his head says “Little did he know that this… would result in his imminent death”. Alarmed he tried to communicate with the voice, and then with a therapist, then with a literature professor. In the meantime he has fallen for one of his tax clients and they become lovers. Communication with the voice becomes urgent particularly when he identifies the woman involved.

Content: Harold goes about his day to day activities, in the office, in his apartment, all accompanied by the voice. He visits a bakery run by an attractive young woman and despite himself, falls for her. They get together. After the voice tells him he is going to die he speeds up and has several interviews with the literature professor who said he had conducted a whole semester about “Little did he know…” Meanwhile we see author Karen Eiffel struggling with the final pages of her manuscript, mostly dressed in pyjamas and looking stressed. I don’t think there is anything to offend.

A View: Probably the names attracted people but whether fans of either Emma Thompson or Will Ferrell would have been happy to have seen this is debatable, since it is at the very least a fantasy, and as the voice, the author, and the character get closer together it is difficult to se how it will end. But it does, not entirely satisfactorily. It was quite well liked by the critics and by the general public, and probably made a bit of money against quite a bit budget, probably the actor’s salaries, so maybe a watch for nothing on a Sunday afternoon.

Additional Info:  Harold’s watch is important to the plot. It is, apparently according to IMDb a “Timex Men’s watch, Ironman Triathlon 42 Lap Combo Dual Tech”!

About Victor R Gibson

Author of this site three technical books and two novels


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