February 19, 2007

I don't get Stranger than Fiction.

The more I think about Stranger than Fiction (2006, dir. Forster), the less it makes any sense. It's not on the level of, oh say, The Lake House (DIE!!), but it's very annoying.

Firstly, if Emma Thompson's character (the author, and narrator of Will Ferrell's life) has been writing her book Death and Taxes for 10 years (as we're made aware of by the TV interview) then how come when Ferrell starts to hear her it's the very start of her book? I mean, she's already researched death sequences for her lead character by the first 20 minutes of the movie, yet she's only just started the book?

Why are parts of Ferrell's life being narrated but others aren't? How come his trips to Dustin Hoffman's office aren't narrated, but when there's the scene where he's trying to find a public telephone to call Thompson it is narrated. What is Ferrell's character trying to find a telephone for?

How come when Thompson types "The phone rings" (or whatever) her phone does indeed ring and then it only rings when she types again, yet there was, like, 30 seconds between phone rings?

How come she's typing on a typewriter?

How come her book is so big yet if, as I mentioned, the start of the film is the start of her book ("This is a story about...") and barely any parts of Ferrell's life are actually narrated.

Ugh. It doesn't make sense. I do love Maggie though. And Emma. And Queen Latifah. And, I really do like Dustin Hoffman so much more when he does comedy.

C+

3 comments:

adam k. said...

I feel the exact same way. It made NO. SENSE. WHATSOEVER. Such a lame and transparent Kaufman knockoff.

I also gave it a C+. Just cause it was so enjoyable despite itself. The cast was very good. Except Ferrell. His globe nom should've been for Talladega Nights, where he actually gave a comedic performance.

Actually, that lineup could've been pretty great if it'd been:

Gael Garcia Bernal (SoS)
Sacha Baron Cohen (Borat)
Aaron Eckhart (Smoking)
Will Ferrell (Talladega)
Greg Kinnear (LMS)

Kamikaze Camel said...

Yeah, the cast was pretty good and there were some great individual lines of dialogue (the Space Camp scene was hilarious - "You're invisible and you choose space camp?" "You made me invisible.")

But, yeah... great premise that got bogged down by actually committing it to the real world.

In terms of male comedic performances, after Cohen and Eckhart, for me it gets pretty barren (but I haven't seen Science or Talladega, nor am I ever going to see the latter). I still say that, despite it's (I'm assuming) inneligibility and the fact that most people wouldn't call it a "performance", Dave Chappelle gave one of the best of the year.

If you've seen Chappelle in interviews such as on Oprah then you know he gives just as big a performance in Block Party as anyone else in a "proper movie".

...but that may just be me.

adam k. said...

Talladega Nights is actually really funny. I wasn't expecting to like it either. But it's just a very funny crowdpleasing movie that manages to poke fun at American hick stereotypes without ever losing its heart or being truly mean. It's certainly nothing great - and parts of it fall kinda flat - but it's enjoyable and at least worth a viewing. Most of the fun really comes from Cohen (he has a supporting role in it). He worked hard this year for the laughs. But Ferrell is perfectly fine in his Will Ferrell SNL way.

Gael is really good in SoS and deserved a golden globe nomination. I wasn't a huge fan of the movie, but he was aces, as usual.

And I'm a big fan of Kinnear in Sunshine and actually in general now, which surprises me. I never used to like him. Weird.

I'm glad Cohen won the globe, though.