7.6/10
186,599
529 user 253 critic

Stranger Than Fiction (2006)

Trailer
2:33 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
An IRS auditor suddenly finds himself the subject of narration only he can hear: narration that begins to affect his entire life, from his work, to his love-interest, to his death.

Director:

Writer:

Reviews
Popularity
2,374 ( 476)
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 3 wins & 14 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Satirical comedy follows the machinations of Big Tobacco's chief spokesman, Nick Naylor, who spins on behalf of cigarettes while trying to remain a role model for his twelve-year-old son.

Director: Jason Reitman
Stars: Aaron Eckhart, Cameron Bright, Maria Bello
Garden State (2004)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A quietly troubled young man returns home for his mother's funeral after being estranged from his family for a decade.

Director: Zach Braff
Stars: Zach Braff, Peter Sarsgaard, Natalie Portman
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

When an alcoholic relapses, causing him to lose his wife and his job, he holds a yard sale on his front lawn in an attempt to start over. A new neighbor might be the key to his return to form.

Director: Dan Rush
Stars: Will Ferrell, Rebecca Hall, Christopher Jordan Wallace
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A faded movie star and a neglected young woman form an unlikely bond after crossing paths in Tokyo.

Director: Sofia Coppola
Stars: Bill Murray, Scarlett Johansson, Giovanni Ribisi
Adventure | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

When his job along with that of his co-worker are threatened, Walter takes action in the real world embarking on a global journey that turns into an adventure more extraordinary than anything he could have ever imagined.

Director: Ben Stiller
Stars: Ben Stiller, Kristen Wiig, Jon Daly
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A delusional young man strikes up an unconventional relationship with a doll he finds on the Internet.

Director: Craig Gillespie
Stars: Ryan Gosling, Emily Mortimer, Paul Schneider
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A family determined to get their young daughter into the finals of a beauty pageant take a cross-country trip in their VW bus.

Directors: Jonathan Dayton, Valerie Faris
Stars: Steve Carell, Toni Collette, Greg Kinnear
Comedy | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A puppeteer discovers a portal that leads literally into the head of movie star John Malkovich.

Director: Spike Jonze
Stars: John Cusack, Cameron Diaz, Catherine Keener
50/50 (2011)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Inspired by a true story, a comedy centered on a 27-year-old guy who learns of his cancer diagnosis, and his subsequent struggle to beat the disease.

Director: Jonathan Levine
Stars: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Seth Rogen, Anna Kendrick
Semi-Pro (2008)
Comedy | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Jackie Moon, the owner-coach-player of the American Basketball Association's Flint Michigan Tropics, rallies his teammates to make their NBA dreams come true

Director: Kent Alterman
Stars: Will Ferrell, Woody Harrelson, André Benjamin
Step Brothers (2008)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Two aimless middle-aged losers still living at home are forced against their will to become roommates when their parents marry.

Director: Adam McKay
Stars: Will Ferrell, John C. Reilly, Mary Steenburgen
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A guy who complains about God too often is given almighty powers to teach him how difficult it is to run the world.

Director: Tom Shadyac
Stars: Jim Carrey, Jennifer Aniston, Morgan Freeman
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Guy Massey ...
Martha Espinoza ...
T.J. Jagodowski ...
...
Ricky Adams ...
Young Boy
...
Young Boy's Father
Denise Hughes ...
Kronecker Bus Driver
Peggy Roeder ...
Polish Woman
...
...
...
...
Bakery Employee #1
Helen Young ...
Bakery Customer #1
Edit

Storyline

Everybody knows that your life is a story. But what if a story was your life? Harold Crick is your average IRS agent: monotonous, boring, and repetitive. But one day this all changes when Harold begins to hear an author inside his head narrating his life. The narrator it is extraordinarily accurate, and Harold recognizes the voice as an esteemed author he saw on TV. But when the narration reveals that he is going to die, Harold must find the author of the story, and ultimately his life, to convince her to change the ending of the story before it is too late. Written by the lexster

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Harold Crick isn't ready to go. Period. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some disturbing images, sexuality, brief language and nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

10 November 2006 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Killing Harold Crick  »

Box Office

Budget:

$38,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$13,411,093 (USA) (10 November 2006)

Gross:

$40,137,776 (USA) (15 December 2006)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| |

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

A recurring theme is how Harold's wristwatch changes his life. There are several scenes in which Harold sits on the bench outside Ana's bakery. There is a large, round window in the wall that resembles a watch face through which Harold looks at Ana. See more »

Goofs

In the intro talking about Harold's life they say he counts the stroke of brushing his teeth each direction to 38 times. Then when the movie actually shows him brushing his teeth he only does it 24 times per up and down. In addition, when trying to provide his own narration, he appears to give a total of 72 (not 76). See more »

Quotes

Harold Crick: [to Ana] This may sound like gibberish to you, but I think I'm in a tradgedy.
See more »

Crazy Credits

During the end credits, the names of the characters and the actors who played them were displayed against stylized images of the places where the characters worked. See more »

Connections

References Star Trek (1966) See more »

Soundtracks

On The Nature Of Daylight
(2004)
Written by Max Richter
Performed by Max Richter
Courtesy of Fat Cat Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Helm's great screenplay and Ferrell's astonishing acting make for an excellent film
10 November 2006 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

I liked the idea of Stranger than Fiction from the start. And I still like the idea after having seen the film. I was not a big fan of all the huge press first-time screenwriter Zach Helm was getting, but in comparison to the ballooning publicity with Sascha Baron Cohen and Borat!, it was not too bad. I continually looked forward to seeing the film, and am glad that the great trailer did not reveal everything like I had originally assumed.

The film involves Harold Crick (Will Ferrell), an IRS agent who lives his life by a very strict routine. One day, he wakes up, and begins to hear a woman narrating all of his actions. Suspicious, Crick continues attempting to live his life out, but after an inexplicable comment in regards to his "immenent death", he goes on the hunt for the voice. Randomly spliced into Crick's search is Karen Eiffel (Emma Thompson). She is writing a novel about a character named Harold Crick, and is unknowingly the voice Crick keeps hearing. She is battling a case of writer's block, and spends much of the film attempting to come up with the finale for the character.

Unlike many other existential comedies, Fiction is sweet and almost innocent in its design. Yes, the main focus of the film is pretty grim, but the life-altering questions that keep going around during the film do not become anywhere near as depressing and bizarre as those found in the likes of the work of Charlie Kaufman. In a way, Fiction feels a lot like a Kaufman-written film, but lacking in the means of being totally "out there"; almost like being a decaf as opposed to a regular. As a result, while being an excellent film (albeit slightly predictable), it cannot break past the mold already set by the likes of the absolutely brilliant Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. It just feels like it is missing that spark that could have sprung it right into the brilliance that all films like this strive for.

Going along with the story itself, it feels a little ill-paced in some few instances, but for the most part sucks you right in and keeps you there. It has many comedic elements, and has some great dramatic sequences as well. They all play well, and while I still would not give him a ton of credit, I was very impressed by Helm's first-time effort. His writing feels vibrant and fresh, and in a film industry with absolutely little originality or thought, it is just great that movies like this slip through and get green-lighted. Every piece of dialogue and background feels well expressed, and just play out astonishingly well. On the topic of Crick however, I liked the idea of how neurotic and obsessive Crick was over numbers, but I thought it was a bit of an overkill to include special effect shots showing the numbers being counted within his head. It felt silly in The Da Vinci Code, so why did Sony feel the need to add it here too?

On that note, much like my being impressed by Adam Sandler from time to time, Ferrell really pulls through here, and does give the best performance of his short career. The psychological trauma that his character goes through is evident in his facial and body emotions, and the way he conveys it on screen is nowhere near what I would have expected. He brings an amazing sense of what this character is really about, and gives him a poignancy that makes him so life-like that it becomes almost too great to explain. This is a pathetically sad man who you cannot help but pull for as the film goes on. And for all the right reason too. He may deliver some of the funniest lines in the movie, but he is totally mature and at ease in this role. Thankfully this means that he stays serious for the most part throughout the film, and does not let any Ricky Bobby or Ron Bergundy slip out. He could have easily blown it, but thankfully, manages to stay in check.

Thompson is another particular standout, especially in contrast to Ferrell. She is broken and weak, searching for the perfect ending. The pain and sorrow that goes through her face as she writes and thinks has a poetic excellence to it, and she only continues to prove how good of an actor she is. Dustin Hoffman and Queen Latifah work well in supporting roles, supporting Ferrell and Thompson respectively as the film progresses on. Hoffman has always had great comedic timing, and he does not let it go to waste here. He plays right off of Ferrell in grand ways, and just feels totally at home in the role. Latifah, while not in the film so much, is very good in her bit parts. Maggie Gyllenhaal also shines here, and clearly has the makings for an Oscar sometime in the late future.

For its small problems, Fiction still is able to prove its worth, and is clearly one of the best films of the year. It will be able to stand proud among the other entries in the existential comedy genre, or just stand proud on its own. Helm's screenplay coupled in with an intoxicatingly great performance by Ferrell make for a great trip to the movies. And sure beats some of the crap that's been released over the past few weeks.

9/10.


254 of 306 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
'I bought you flours' thedrells-1
Was anyone annoyed with the first Maggie/Will scene? bevans1289
Not once did anyone question WHY this was happening stick500
What if Karen did this savair1
This May Go Down as a Classic KindredSouls
My life is so pointless... bolachasmaria
Discuss Stranger Than Fiction (2006) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?