Stranger than Fiction

As a writer ponders how to kill off her main character, the man begins hearing her voice in his head and realizes that his days are numbered.

Year: 2006
Certificate: 12
Director: Marc Forster
Starring: Will Ferrell, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Dustin Hoffman, Queen Latifah, Emma Thompson, Kristin Chenoweth, Tony Hale, Tom Hulce, Linda Hunt

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Meet Harold. A seemingly uninteresting individual who lives a seemingly uninteresting life. He wakes, gets ready for his uninteresting job at the IRS. Harold (Will Ferrell) has a routine. He counts his brush strokes when brushing his teeth, he counts the steps he takes to the bus stop and he appears completely in control of his life. That is until the day he starts to hear a voice.

A voice that, at first, seems innocent enough. A voice that begins to narrate Harolds’ day and comment on what Harold may be thinking or feeling, much like an author writing a book. At first, it puzzles him as to why this voice seems to be following him around and it seems to be essentially harmless, that is until the day the voice indicates that Harold is heading to an untimely death.

After the initial panic sets in, he seeks help from a literacy professor (Dustin Hoffman), who although sceptical, goes along with the theory that Harolds’ life is being narrated and using his vast knowledge of fiction, helps Harold determine what type of story, his life seems to be taking.

I didn’t realise when watching this film, just how old it was. 2006 is a lifetime ago in the world of movies and surprisingly, the film holds up pretty well after all this time.
Will Ferrel plays the straight man pretty well, although there are quirks and the occasional laugh, this film was definitely different for a guy we have previously seen in films such as Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, Step Brothers and Daddy’s Home.

The voice Harold hears is Emma Thompson, who plays the eccentric English author really well and along with Dustin Hoffman and Harold’s love interest played by Maggie Gyllenhaal, the cast is pretty impressive.

The film leaves you with an important question. If you knew your days were numbered, how would you deal with it and what would you do?

All philosophical questions aside, one thing you should do (although probably not if you’re knowingly living your last days, there are much better things to do), is give Stranger Than Fiction a watch. It’s funny, heartfelt and one I would probably watch again.

Have you seen this film? Let us know your opinions in the comments below and of course if there are any films on Netflix UK you want us to review let us know!

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