stranger than fiction
the year: 2006
the genre: like nothing you've ever seen before.
the cast: Will Farrell (Harold Crick); Dustin Hoffman (Professor Julius Hilbert); Emma Thompson (Karen Eiffel); Maggie Gyllenhaal (Ana Pascal)
the plot: After ten years of painstaking work, novelist Karen Eiffel is nearing completion on her latest, and potentially finest, book. Her only remaining challenge is to figure out how to kill off her main character, Harold Crick. Little does she know that Harold Crick is inexplicably alive-and-well in the real world, and suddenly aware of her words. Fiction and reality collide when the bewildered and hilariously resistant Harold hears what she has in mind and realizes he must find a way to change her (and his) ending. Desperate to take control of his destiny and avoid an untimely demise, Harold seeks help from literary theorist Jules Hilbert, who suggests that Harold try to follow one of comedy's most elemental formulas: a love story between two people who hate each other. His suggestion leads Harold to initiate an unlikely romance with a free-spirited baker named Ana Pascal.
count: how many times Harold brushes each of his thirty two teeth – every weekday, for twelve years.
don’t miss: the guys from the Sonic commercials.
check out: the materials one should take to one’s weekly evil-conspiracy and needlepoint group.
listen for: “Harold, if you pause to think, you'd realize that that answer is inextricably contingent upon the type of life being led... and, of course, the quality of the pancakes.”
also listen for: “I brought you flours.”
did you know: The last names of all the characters (and the bus line and publishing firm names) are the names of mathematicians, scientists, engineers, artists, etc. (Harold) Francis Crick: with Watson and Wilkins found the structure of DNA; (Ana) Blaise Pascal: French mathematician and philosopher; (Karen) Gustave Eiffel: engineer and designer of the Eiffel Tower; (Penny) M.C. Escher: Dutch graphic artist; (Dr.) Magnus Gustaf Mittag-Leffler: Swedish mathematician; (Professor Jules) David Hilbert: German mathematician; (Doctor) Gerardus Mercator: 16th century Flemish cartographer; (Kronecker Bus Line) Leopold Kronecker: German-born mathematician and logician; (Banneker Press) Benjamin Banneker: free African American mathematician, astronomer, clockmaker, and publisher; (Dr. Cayly) Arthur Cayley, 19th century British mathematician. Even Dave (no last name) seems to be a reference to the main character from 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968).
disclaimer: this is a quirky movie. You'll probably either love it or hate it. I really liked the underlying message AND it's imminently quotable, that's why I'm recommending it. And for those who need to know (*spoiler alert*) I think you'll like the ending.
also listen for: "Meeting an insurance agent the day your policy runs out is coincidence. Getting a letter from the Emperor saying he's visiting is plot. A wrecking ball... is something else entirely."
And part of one of my favorite scenes:
Dr. Hilbert's Questions - Stranger Than Fiction