Saturday, April 07, 2007

More Profound Than the Average Movie

Since Ugly Betty and Grey’s Anatomy were a repeat of old shows this week, I watch a movie that I had been looking forward to seeing from the moment I saw the previews. It is a movie starring the comic actor from the TV show Saturday Night Live, Will Ferrell, as the main character, an actor whom I have never regarded as being very funny or interesting. But, it was the storyline that grabbed me right away. The movie, Stranger than Fiction, is a story about a very predictable, uninteresting, IRS agent, Harold Crick, obsessed with numbers, who hears a voice narrating his every move. After talking to a friend about it and seeking the help of a psychiatrist, he seems to begin to accept the fact that he hears this voice that knows even the amount of brush strokes he uses to brush his teeth; that is until the voice speaks about his little known, inevitable death. That’s when he employs the help of a literature professor, portrayed by Dustin Hoffman. And, by ruling out all other types of narratives, Hoffman tells Crick that his life is basically a Tragedy, and that there is only one way for the story to end; with his ultimate death. Not only that, after he finds out who the author is, (played by Emma Thompson), Crick learns that she is a writer who always writes tragedies, and the main character always dies. What makes this story even more interesting is that Crick meets the author, and the author comes literally face to face with her character. I’d say that this movie is a virtual writer’s fantasy.

Not everyone will find this movie as insightful as I did. I suppose that it is tailor-made for a nerdy, literature major like me. But, I think Stranger than Fiction has the simple, quirky charm of movies from the past like, Irma La Douce or Breakfast at Tiffany’s or even Twilight Zone episodes. Now being the chronic worrier that I am, this movie has some rather reflective questions one would have to ask themselves like, “If I knew I were going to die, how would I live my life differently?” “If I knew who held the pen, would I try and find them and convince them to change the ending?” “If I knew I couldn’t change the ending, would I still want to know what it was?” And, more importantly, “If I were an author who came face to face with a living, breathing representation of a character I made up off the top of my head, would I drink more, or would I stop drinking all together?” At least in response to the first question I would say that, I do know that I’m going to die, so everyday I try to get my life closer and closer to how I want it. So that maybe by the time the author decides to smack a “The End” on me, my life will be just as it should be when I die.



At 8:15 AM , Blogger steadfastandpurposed said...

Great observation. As someone whose "line of work" puts them very close to mortality, the questions raised regarding what one would do if they knew when, exactly, their live would end, is a serious query. One we should ALL be asking ourselves.

At 4:34 PM , Blogger persistence said...

Absolutely, SFP...who would have thunk so much profundity would have come from such a goofy movie.


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