It's barely tinged with punk and splintered with a soundtrack ruled by Spoon, the lovely post-punk-rockers. And Will Ferrell! Sweet Will! He surprises me with the depth of this role: Stranger than Fiction is to Will Ferrell as Punch Drunk Love is to Adam Sandler.
This movie perfectly plays the "Would you rather" game, mocking all literary geeks along the way. (Ahem.) Would you rather: Die poetically, or, Live a boorish life?
Harold: "You're asking me to knowingly face my death?"
Pompous Professor: "It's the nature of all tragedies! The hero dies, but the story lives on forever." I'm sorry Harold, but, you'll have to die.
The whole thing is enfolded with outstanding dramatic irony. Our hero, Harold, reads the pre-written story of his life while riding on the MTA bus. The journey goes from beginning to end, and then end to beginning. And he reads it.
We've all asked the question: Is an outside Hand writing our lives? And to what extent is this Writer compassionate?
The film likewise enforces the deceptive opinion that the most brilliant writers are whack-jobs with British accents. And it makes a fine argument that love and cookies can save the day. Of course, anomalies and nuances exist to save our lives.
If I were leading a bible study right now (which I am not), I would use this movie as an introduction to Matthew. Behold, Jesus loveth the tax collector, and even they can become heroes.
[The Nelly gives it 4 stars.]