I find Will Ferrell to be an enigma. How any one actor can make me hate him one moment and really like him the next is beyond me.
I dug some of his early roles, then I didn't, and now it seems I am again.
He went from high notes such as Elf and Old School to low ones in Kicking & Screaming and Bewitched. Even his cameo in Wedding Crashers drives me nuts. I love that movie save for that bit. And I also wasn't really into The Producers. But, in my mind, he made a bit of a comeback with Talladega Nights.
That comeback was cemented for both of us on Friday when we saw Stranger Than Fiction.
Ferrell stars as Harold Crick, an IRS agent suffering from OCD who has absolutely no personal life and no reason to go on living. One day, he begins to hear a voice that narrates his every move. It is then that he realizes that he is a character in a book that is being written and the mystery author seems to agree that he really has no reason to go on living either.
Little does the author, Karen Eiffel (Emma Thompson), know that her fictional character is real and her writing is ruining his otherwise boring life. It is now up to Crick, with the help of literature professor Jules Hibbert (Dustin Hoffman) to figure out who is writing Crick's life and whether it's too late to alter the inevitable.
Simply put, we both loved it. There are a few points in which the film drags on. But this can be attributed to the fact that the director is trying to show just how mundane Crick's existence really is. There are, however, high points such as his audit of baker Ana Pascal (Maggie Gyllenhaal) as well as his outbursts against the voice.
Ferrell plays his role perfectly. There is nothing over the top about him at all and I love him for it. The comedy lies where it should, in the situations in which he finds himself. Thompson is also fantastic and manages to somehow shed her glamorous persona for the frumpy and reclusive author exceptionally well.
Put simply, this movie was a lot of fun and highly enjoyable and, most importantly, made me like Will Ferrell again. Any movie that can do that is a good thing.
All in all...