Stranger than Fiction

Pitching itself alongside the films of Charlie Kaufman and low-fi indie hits such as ‘Thumbsucker’ this film doesn’t have the charms of ‘Eternal Sunshine’ or the central performance of say ‘The Truman show’. Where as Jim Carey brought a certain lovable quality to both his roles in said films, Will Ferrell just brings dumb. The film starts well with quirky graphics overlaid on the action as Emma Thompson narrates the life of Ferrell’s Harold Crick, a stuck up taxman who doesn’t live but exists. The whole premise of the film is that Emma Thompson who is writing the story is trying to kill off Harold but as he gets wind of it and starts to live his life he doesn’t want this to happen so sets out to change his own destiny. Enlisting the help of Dustin Hoffman who is basically revisiting the character he played in ‘I heart huckabees’ the films few highlights come from the two of them trying to figure out what kind of book Harold is in, in a series of bizarre literary conversations. But what starts as a promising philosophical dark comedy fast turns into a slushy ‘Love Actually’ type live for the day because you don’t know how long you’ve got melodrama. At no point in the film do you believe that free-thinking radical none tax paying tattooed young beauty played by Maggie Gyllenhaal would ever fall for the old grey boring Ferrell, let alone start to turn his life around, even though they do say opposites attract. Ok it makes you think a bit, it may even make you laugh, but it lacks the style it pretends to have and by the end just falls flat on its (head so far up it’s own) arse.

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