Stranger Than Fiction....Not a Cookie Cutter Comedy

Genres: Comedy, Drama, Romance and Science Fiction/Fantasy
Running Time: 1 hr. 53 min.
Release Date: November 10th, 2006 (wide)
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for some disturbing images, sexuality, brief language and nudity. Distributors: Mandate Pictures, Sony Pictures International, Sony Pictures Releasing

Directed by: Marc Forster

JJ Rating: A –

JJ sits in his car listening to Panic At the Disco’s The Only Difference Between Martyrdom and Suicide is Press Coverage. He bought the CD at Wal-Mart prior to seeing Stranger Than Fiction. It storms outside with rain falling in a slow motion fashion with lightning making the sky glow with an eerie gloom every 7.7 seconds.

He did not bring an umbrella so his shirt is practically wet from running to his car. The car starts to fog with each of his hot air exhales. He thinks and ponders how much he enjoyed a non-typical Will Ferrell movie about a writer that writes a story about a character who happens to be real instead of fiction. He realizes that that sentence might just be a run on but he knows he is just thinking so it does not bother him too much.

He had decided to write a review after seeing the movie upon his arrival to purchase the ticket hours earlier. This is what he is doing with a blue pen in handwriting that would make a kindergartner’s writing look like calligraphy. He thinks it would be clever to write the review like the narration of the movie. Only time would tell if it is or is not as clever as he had thought.

Stranger Than Fiction is a movie that most people would see as a bit slow. Not turtle slow but human walking slow trying to avoid waste time in which they want to do so in order to avoid a person or an event. Do not see it if you expect a Will Ferrell movie because it’s not like his typical movie.

This movie is interesting and creative but only to those that like black comedies with a lemon twist of romance. The movie also had an odd sense of itself.

I cannot rave about the movie and say how amazing it is except in the context of my opinion. I really like it. It’s hard to decide how much I like it. During it I teetered between a B and B+. But right now I’m thinking about giving it an A-. It’s like a quirky person. You meet them and you’re like, “There’s something wrong with you”, but you are not afraid of them you’re just weary. Then you think about them and realize you actually like them more than you previously thought. That is how I see the movie.

Ferrell does a great job delivering his lines dryly. There is a scene with him and Dustin Hoffman where they are going down a list. It’s freaking funny because of what Hoffman says and how Ferrell responds. It’s that dry sense of humor that just reverberates through this movie that makes it so refreshing to me.

Maggie Gyllenhaal is hot in the movie and very endearing in her transition from hostile to enamor and cookie giving. You’ll understand about the cookies when you see the movie. I really like that scene too. Gyllenhaal and Ferrell have an odd chemistry that is sweet and cute but not as much as it is funny and touching.

Emma Thompson and Queen Latifah are also a good pair. There is a scene when they are sitting in the rain talking about Thompson’s writer’s block. It’s so amusing and witty and great. It was uplifting to watch even though the conversation was quite depressing.

If you ever played SIMS there are graphics that appear to help decide what you’d have people do. That is similar to what occurs in the movie around Ferrell’s character. It was a clever creative way of pushing the story along and it also played an amusing part. It was like another cast member.

I will be buying this movie because it’s that good to me. I like black comedies and I like movies I connect with. Thompson is a writer and I found her interesting how she thought and wrote. I felt connected to the movie by that shared love of writing.

The ending is what’s being searched for during the whole movie. I think that the ending is poetic and tied into what happened prior. It was an emotion caught between a tear and an optimistic grin.

JJ’s neck cramps from writing awkwardly in his car. A fire truck sits near the ticket booth of the movie theater. It caught his curiosity but he wants to finish the review and get home. He wipes his nose as his peripheral vision catches a few flashes of quiet lightning. He decides he really likes Stranger Than Fiction. So a sneeze blasts out of his nose causing him to sniffle in an annoying way if it happened to have been someone else doing it other than him. The car grows hot from the circulating exhales. JJ sighs as he decides to give the movie an A- and that is the end of the review. Period.

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