HAROLD CRICK ISN’T READY TO GO. PERIOD.
IRS agent Harold Crick (Will Ferrell) lives a very dull life until the day when he hears a woman in his head narrating everything he does; she is a famous author (Emma Thompson) who’s contemplating how to kill her character. Director Marc Forster’s imaginative film has a typical Charlie Kaufman-esque tone; we’re meant to laugh and cry and marvel at the way the story plays with conventions. Writer Zach Helm succeeds reasonably well at this. Ferrell is very effective in a part that seems tailor-made for him, Maggie Gyllenhaal is very attractive as the baker he falls in love with, and Dustin Hoffman is simply wonderful as the literature professor with a caffeine addiction.
2006-U.S. 113 min. Color. Produced by Lindsay Doran. Directed by Marc Forster. Screenplay: Zach Helm. Cast: Will Ferrell (Harold Crick), Maggie Gyllenhaal (Ana Pascal), Emma Thompson (Kay Eiffel), Dustin Hoffman (Jules Hilbert), Queen Latifah, Tony Hale… Tom Hulce, Linda Hunt.
Last word: “I’ve always wanted to try something comedic, but I also try to make films that are not just entertaining, but also emotional and inspiring. I was fascinated by ‘Stranger Than Fiction,’ because I think we all have a narrator in our lives. We all have inner voices in our heads that tell us what to do and how to be. What Harold Crick discovers in the midst of these incredible events is how to escape all that and really begin to enjoy every second of his existence.” (Forster, EmmanuelLevy.com)