7.6/10
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535 user 253 critic

Stranger Than Fiction (2006)

An IRS auditor suddenly finds himself the subject of narration only he can hear: narration that begins to affect his entire life, from his work, to his love-interest, to his death.

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2,354 ( 226)

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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 3 wins & 14 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Guy Massey ...
Martha Espinoza ...
T.J. Jagodowski ...
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Ricky Adams ...
Young Boy
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Young Boy's Father
Denise Hughes ...
Kronecker Bus Driver
Peggy Roeder ...
Polish Woman
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Bakery Employee #1
Helen Young ...
Bakery Customer #1

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Storyline

Everybody knows that your life is a story. But what if a story was your life? Harold Crick is your average IRS agent: monotonous, boring, and repetitive. But one day this all changes when Harold begins to hear an author inside his head narrating his life. The narrator it is extraordinarily accurate, and Harold recognizes the voice as an esteemed author he saw on TV. But when the narration reveals that he is going to die, Harold must find the author of the story, and ultimately his life, to convince her to change the ending of the story before it is too late. Written by the lexster

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

He's not crazy. He's just written that way. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some disturbing images, sexuality, brief language and nudity | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

10 November 2006 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Killing Harold Crick  »

Box Office

Budget:

$38,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$13,411,093 (USA) (10 November 2006)

Gross:

$40,137,776 (USA) (15 December 2006)
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1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the scene just after Harold's flat gets demolished, and Professor Hilbert advises Harold to go live his life, Professor Hilbert hums "Rule Britannia" as he walks away from Harold. See more »

Goofs

In his counseling of Harold, Hilbert defines comedy and tragedy as prose fiction when they are, in fact, dramatic genres. See more »

Quotes

Harold Crick: [to Ana] This may sound like gibberish to you, but I think I'm in a tradgedy.
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Crazy Credits

During the end credits, the names of the characters and the actors who played them were displayed against stylized images of the places where the characters worked. See more »

Connections

Features The Meaning of Life (1983) See more »

Soundtracks

I Turn My Camera On
(2005)
Written by Britt Daniel
Performed by Spoon
Courtesy of Merge Records
By Arrangement with Bank Robber Music
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Strangely Addicting
9 November 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

With his unassuming eyes and sheepish, "awe shucks!" demeanor, Will Ferrell is quite simply the guy you root for—the eternal boy trapped in a gangly 6'3" frame. Just a single look can make you giggle and smile so effortlessly that you're often unaware that you're actually doing it. It is with this notion that Stranger than Fiction—Ferrell's first major foray into a theatrical world outside the realm of in-your-face frat boy silliness—just makes sense. By surrounding Ferrell's charisma with a subdued, darkly comic script and a talented supporting cast, we get a film that is both fresh and heartfelt.

Directed by Marc Forster and penned by Zach Helm, Stranger than Fiction is an odd mix-mash, combining a standard comedy with existentialist ideas. Number crunching IRS agent and genuine loser, Harold Crick (Ferrell) one day wakes up to find his life being narrated word for word by burnt out writer Karen Eiffel (Emma Thompson). Odd thing is, Eiffel is writing an actual book where Crick just happens to be the main character. To make matters worse, she plans on killing him off as soon as she can make it through a particularly arduous stretch of writer's block.

Originality is one thing that is absent from a majority of contemporary Hollywood pictures, so Fiction immediately gets points for simply trying something different. I suppose it's icing on the cake that the film is genuinely good. Crick, knowing that is death is imminent, begins to break out of his cloistered shell and to experience the fruits of his life. And, in the process he forms a bond with a tax breaking baker (Gyllenhal) and seeks advice from a literature professor, played by a particularly charming Dustin Hoffman

However, even though it is well intentioned, the execution isn't flawless. The romance that develops between Gyllenhal's outcast baker and Ferrell's strait-laced Crick doesn't feel entirely organic. We admire the relationship and smile at its sugar coated sweetness, but we don't necessarily believe their connection. It may taste good, but it doesn't exactly wash down smoothly. Neither, does the film's over reliance on reinforcing generic, "Carpe Diem" philosophies. Towards the second act, things do get sappy. Luckily, by the conclusion, the plot has bounced back to a wonderful limbo of both oddly comic and genuinely heartwarming moments.

For all its flaws, Stranger than Fiction, works. Like a good novel, Forster has fashioned something that is strange, stylistic, and unexpectedly inspiring. And, despite the chinks in its existentialist armor, that's surely something worth writing home about.


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