There are certain things in life that people either love or they hate. Cilantro is one of those things that come to mind, and Will Ferrell is another. Comedies are an escape from reality and there is nothing that compares to a good laugh, but there seems to be something in our chemical makeup, like that of cilantro, that we can either laugh and stand Ferrell, or else you have a completely adverse reaction to him. Try as I might, you will not find me enjoying a movie starring Will Ferrell and his cilantro performances.
Harold Crick (Will Ferrell) is an IRS agent whose life consists of a select few actions timed precisely to that of his wristwatch. On this particular day, his wristwatch fails him and the course of his life is altered greatly. The most notable change being a voice (Emma Thompson) who narrates the actions of Harold’s life and gives the foreboding message that his days are numbered. While trying to understand where this voice is coming from, why no one else can hear it, and what the voice meant by his days being numbered, Harold meets Ana Pascal. Ana (Maggie Gyllenhaal) is a beautiful baker, and Harold’s next assignment to audit her business. Harold enlists the services of Professor Jules Hilbert (Dustin Hoffman) to help Harold discover who this narrator may be, and what she has planned for him. What would you do if you knew that your time on earth was nearly up, and what would you say to someone if you knew they were in control of your destiny?
I had some very obvious reservations about this movie based on the lead actor alone. My only knowledge of the film was a split second memory of the scene of Harold brushing his teeth in front of the mirror all those years ago when the trailer was on TV. Interestingly enough, I noticed that Stranger Than Fiction was not a title that you would hear falling from the mouths of those cilantro lovers. I’m curious to know their thoughts on this movie. Did they not like it as much because he wasn’t in his normal over the top comedic role? And did I only like it because he was not in that role and had evolved into something other than cilantro? The real hero of the film and the person who truly made it for me was, of course, Emma Thompson. Her voice as a narrator and her role in the film was fascinating at all times. Stranger Than Fiction is one of those highly underrated films and hidden gems, hiding in plain sight, on Netflix. For those with reservations about the film because of Will Ferrell, I am a true testament that his presence in the film does not sour things. In the reverse, I am curious to hear the thoughts and opinions of the Will Ferrell lovers and how they felt about him in such a reserved role.