I spent a lovely afternoon at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, enjoying what may be our last glorious weekend before winter sets in. My brother and his girlfriend are in town and we've had a string of dinners out. Bertucci's, Silvertone, and Chau Chow City. Tonight was my first Chinatown experience. It was good but not anything better than I've had elsewhere. Anyway...
Since being a tourist is tiring, I urged our little gang to take a load off and see Stranger than Fiction. The film intrigued me and I hoped it would be good. It was. We all crammed into a crowded theater, ready to laugh. I have to admit I was expecting to laugh more, but there was an elegant wittiness about the entire film. It was gossamer, fine chocolate, and wine. Good stuff.
When Will Ferrell's Harold Crick gets past determining that he's not a schizophrenic, the film hits its stride. Crick seeks out a literary scholar (Dustin Hoffman) to find out who his life's narrator could be. The scenes between Ferrell and Hoffman are brilliant, deadpan comedy.
I don't want to give away too much of the plot, but I must comment on a theme that Angela brought up. Once Crick determines that he is not in control of the course of the narration, he finds unkempt, chain-smoking recluse author Karen Eiffel (Emma Thompson). Overwhelmed by the fact that her character is real, she admits to Crick she is trying to kill him in the novel and has fashioned the ending. She gives him the entire work which he then passes off to Dustin Hoffman. He reads it and tells Crick that the book is Eiffel's master work and it must not be changed--even if it means Crick's imminent death. The conversation between these two men is the pinnacle of the film and the crossroads for Crick is reminiscent of Christ. What was it like to read the book, knowing that this end was coming? Was the conversation between Ferrell and Hoffman anything like the one between Christ and God in Gethsemane? Something to think about in a new way.