Wednesday, March 28, 2007

While we're talking movies...

Mikaela says:
The other one Eric & I saw at the Dollars Movies (ahem) that I haven't been able to shake is Stranger than Fiction. Now I am not a Will Ferrell fan. Never have been, never will be (she says, feeling suddenly unsure of herself...).

But this movie gets you from the beginning. Like a good Charlie Kaufman flick (Eternal Sunshine, Being John Malkovich), this movie presents a seamless alternative reality that is so airtight, there's no escape. Unlike Michel Gondry, however, this director chooses to present the world straight up, something like Truman Show.

Charming, quirky, and philosophical in the vein of I Heart Huckabees (speaking of, has anybody watched the YouTube video of the director going ballistic and yelling at Lilly Tomlin? What an asshole!), this movie doesn't fall into the trap like many similar movies do of taking itself too seriously. There's just enough postmodern twist to keep us snooty intellectuals preoccupied, but in the meantime, the characters are real and communicate on an everyday level. So refreshing!

Add to that a shameless effusiveness about the beauty of urban places, a couple stellar performers by veterans Emma Thompson and Dustin Hoffman (oh, and throw in the hotter-than-baking-bread Maggie Gyllenhaal), and you've got yourself one satifying movie.

On a personal note, the film is shot in Chicago. The university scenes take place at my old stomping grounds at UIC (University of Illinois at Chicago, formerly known as "Circle campus"), and there's hilarious interchanges with a literature professor (Dustin Hoffman) who becomes the "expert" to help the main character out of his dilemma (reprising the role played by Robin Williams in Good Will Hunting, in some ways - whew! no movie reference left unturned). Oh boy! Theory in a popular flick? No....

Believe it. Will Ferrell is in a very smart movie. And it's good! What could be stranger than that?


Blogger Maggie said...

Loved it! Loved it, loved it, loved it.

4:06 PM  
Blogger marjorie said...

i will have to go see this. have not been to a movie in a dismally long time. on will ferrell...i suspect he is quite intelligent actually. i can't help but giggle when he makes his appearances in bright track suits...its very irreverent.

10:45 AM  
Blogger Maggie said...

it's on video already, marj!

7:30 PM  
Blogger mjae said...

Actually, we just bought the DVD, so you can watch it whenver you want!!!!

It holds up to multiple viewings, thank god.

12:23 PM  

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