Stranger than Fiction (2006) (mini-review++)

(If you’re curious, my review process. It’s also pasted at the end of this post. I don’t believe in Rotten Tomatoes. I just believe in me.)

(***all-purpose SPOILER ALERT*** there may be some in this review)

acting 8

directing 8

effects 8

editing 7

writing 9

SW SCORE: 40

4 out of 5 🐙

++

I love this movie. Back in the day I wanted to be a fiction writer, but I didn’t have any stories to tell. So I just read and watch them now. But I sure AF respect the hell out of fiction writers. Well, anyone who gets paid for writing is accomplishing something. They might be writing asshole prose for asshole organizations but I’m sure they had to at least write better than other assholes so, again, that’s something!

I love this movie because it’s magic realism adjacent. A fantastic thing happens in an ordinary world. Harold, a lonely, boring IRS employee, begins to hear a voiceover in his head. Now, we all have thoughts but this is someone else’s voice he is hearing. Again, that’s not so bad. But this voice says he is about to die. Shit got real, huh? So, as you might imagine, Harold goes about trying to find what the hell is going on. On his way to save his life, he meets Ana Pascal, the polar opposite of Harold. She is a leftists, tattoo’d, confrontational, buoyant, vibrant, charming, kind blur and, of course, Harold falls hard for her. Who wouldn’t?

Dustin Hoffman and Emma Thompson hep Harold along the way, adding their easy, legendary acting chops to two literary characters.

The ending is sweet and expected and also unexpected. It’s almost as if there were two endings and while one would have been much more poignant, we’re all glad it wasn’t THE ending. And, of course, the whole meta layer about the characters discussing the story they are in adds another complicated and fun twist to this already really fun story.

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(1) Shark Wrighter (SW) Score: Based on a sum of 5 sub-scores (acting, directing, writing/story, effects: cinematography &/or animation &/or effects, editing) with 1 being terrible and 10 being terrific.

(2) Octopuses (0-5 🐙, with 5 being fantastic and 0 being feces)

(3) Octopuses are my unquantifiable feeling…not that SW score is scientific…but this one is even less so

(4) ++ This optional section includes any incredibly *brilliant observations that don’t fit into simple quantitative slices like the scores and octopuses *(they are likely NOT brilliant)

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