Sunday, March 04, 2007

Stranger Than Fiction

I understand Harold Crick, the lead chatacter in Stranger Than Fiction.

Look, I'm not saying I'm a lot like the guy, or that (if he were real) we would be friends.

I'm just saying I understand him.

Crick, an IRS taxman, leads a hum-drum lifestyle routinized by quirky rituals and to-the-second time management. Will Ferrell plays Crick as a good guy who happens to live a boring, meaningless existence. A guy who's afraid to peek into tomorrow because it might go wrong, and afraid to connect with people because he might get hurt.

I understand Harold Crick.

Sure, I've been there. Like Crick, I used to carve out lifestyle routines that were comforting. So comforting, in fact, that they numbed me. Kept me from feeling, from experiencing. The comfort was nice for a short while, even intoxicating. And then it just became sad.

For me and for Harold Crick.

Crick's moment of awareness began on a Wednesday when he was brushing his teeth. He realized someone--besides him--was narrating his life. While searching for the narrator, Crick meets and falls in love with Ana (Maggie Gyllenhaal), a free spirit who helps Crick experience life outside his protective bubble. And through that experience, Crick begins to understand that life is wasted without meaning.

And, that a short life with meaning is more rewarding than a long life without it.

Once Crick recognizes this, he is no longer afraid to look past today into tomorrow. He's not afraid to connect with people any longer. He recognizes that he can be the author of his own life.

Thanks to Ana--the love of his life, and the one person he cares more about than himself--Crick becomes whole.

Like I said, I understand.


Stanton said...

Yes, but did you like the movie?

The Film Geek said...

I realized after I wrote the post that I didn't answer that question.

And I was OK with not answering it, because of how the movie moved me in terms of personal reflection.

If I had to answer, I'd say I liked the way the movie moved me more than I liked the movie.

Hoyt said...

This is one film that I've anticipated since I saw the preview. I see Ferrell, Hoffman, Gyllenhaal and Thompson, and I think: How can this miss? So barring any really awful review, I'll plan on watching it. But I suspect that after I see this one that the anticipation will still be greater than the fulfillment here.

I dunno, Film Geek. Should I watch Elf first instead?

The Film Geek said...

You can't miss with Elf Hoyt!

Honestly, I think this movie will connect with you. It's isn't flamboyant--in fact, it has a rather slow moving pace. The acting is terrific, but understated. The real magic in this film is how it makes you look at your own life.

Are you the author of your life, or is someone or something in control?

I think you'll really like it. Not love it, but really like it! :)

Jackie Lantern said...

Great review The, but any movie that makes me introspective I gotta pass on. There's waay too much going on in there. I'll just wait for Maggie to make "Secretary 2: The Spanksgiving Celebration."