I’m actually surprised to be writing a very positive review of this movie. You see, with the possible exception of Zoolander I don’t like any Will Ferrell movie that I’ve ever seen. Ever. And even Zoolander is a stretch because I enjoyed watching it once but it’s not a favorite, or even one that I’d really recommend. (I’m not a huge Ben Stiller fan either, but that’s for another time…)
So why did I see Stranger Than Fiction if I have such a crappy track record with Will Ferrell movies? Two very big reasons: Emma Thompson and Dustin Hoffman. They’re worth it too, as is Will Ferrell (for once) and Maggie Gyllenhaal.
The story revolves around an IRS agent who begins to hear a female voice narrating his life. He takes it all in stride until one day when the voice mentions his “imminent death.” Obviously this worries him and he spends the rest of the movie trying to work out what is happening to him with the help of Gyllenhaal and Hoffman.
The movie could have easily gone too sci-fi, but instead it was handled well and actually seemed plausible. Emma Thompson does her usual best as a tortured writer, and Hoffman is the perfect schlumpy lit professor that we all knew in college. (If you’re out there Prof. V., I’m sorry. I adore you, but you are schlumpy. Please know that I mean that in the nicest way!)
KATIE RATING: 8 of 10
ROTTEN TOMATOES RATING: 76%