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The Best of 2006: 'Stranger Than Fiction'

Stranger Than Fiction (2006)


Stranger Than Fiction is an incredibly cute and sweet film that is for Will Farrell his most warm, subdued, and impressively emotional dramatic part in his career comparable to Jim Carrey's serious turn on The Truman Show. For this reviewer, this film is one of the best in driving the notion of 'a person who makes a big change in his life due to outside circumstances' without you questioning whether a change in his/her life is merited or not or whether you care ENOUGH about the person or not making this change if he/she was too much of an jerk to begin with, which one can feel after watching As Good as it Gets or Regarding Henry. But this film isn't that.

Farrell's character is a good man (who for inexplicable reasons is hearing a woman narrate his life, which is part of the joy of it) starts to analyze his choices in life. But just when you thought that was all the film was about (how can it be since he has a woman narrating his life because her typewriter and words are instigating the actions in his life?!), it turns into something like D.O.A. (an old film about a man who only has some many hours before he dies) where he must either choose to stop her to continue his life as he sees fit or let her carry on how she feels he must die to give the story a sad, but good ending.

Even though this film is very sad from time to time, it is a very uplifting one that surprises you with its utter quirkiness and cleverness. Emma Thompson (sometimes really weird in other films that are not directed by Kenneth Branagh is subdued like Farrell) is good, Dustin Hoffman is a loveable literature professor helping Farrell, and Maggie Gyllenhaal is bitchy fun. Look for Tom Hulce (Amadeus, The Hunchback of Notredame) playing a really weird psychiatrist. Small, but fun part. Best comedy of 2006.