Stranger than Fiction Review #3 – Richa

Richa is typing out her review for her English class thinking about how it is so crazy that yet another weekend flew by. She has to go back and fix the typo she just made because she is terrible at typing.

Stranger than Fiction is basically one-hundred and thirty pages of what I wrote above. I’m kidding… it’s not that bad; I actually found the plot quite captivating. It’s hard to categorize into a specific genre, but Stranger than Fiction is like a tangy mango salsa: it’s spicy because it’s like a drama but there is a hint of sweetness in the romance and comedy to complement it. I was pretty confident that the story was going to end in a tragedy with Harold Crick’s death. But thankfully it didn’t, and I received closure with a somewhat happy ending. I mean, at least it concluded happier than a plot ending in Harold’s death would have.

It took me a little time to warm up to Harold, but I began to appreciate his character as the plot developed. In the beginning, Harold’s suffers from OCD which causes him to count everything that can be quantified. For example, he counts the number of steps to the bus stop and the number of times he brushes each tooth. As the plot unfolds, Harold realizes that he is the main character of Karen Eiffel’s novel and whatever she types becomes Harold’s reality. This psychological “traumatic” experience allows Harold to be able to cope with his OCD more, as he realizes that he is only a few mere words away from his inevitable death. At this point, Harold turns his life around and falls in love with Ana, re-learns how to play the guitar, and enjoys life for what it is. I found Harold’s transitional phase very moving because he became a stronger individual that understood the true meaning of life. More so, Harold went from being an emotionless robot to experiencing one of life’s most complex emotions: love.

This screenplay serves as a rhetoric of life and the concept of time. Harold’s wristwatch is symbolic of his obsession with time and his monotonous routine. The illusion of time has been a common theme throughout this course. Time is a man-made notion that literally rules every second of our lives. This screenplay allows us to critically evaluate whether we control time or time controls us.

I understood Harold Crick’s character to be an embodiment of mankind. Although not everyone is a perfectionist like Harold, we are all at fault for missing out on the present moment because we are too busy looking to the future. The irony of it all is that the future we work so hard to attain, eventually becomes our present and we still fail to acknowledge it because we have found a “new” future to distract ourselves with. Don’t get me wrong, I’m guilty of this too. I’ve realized that I don’t want to let life bypass me and this screenplay was a much needed reminder of this.

Stranger than Fiction has also been made into a movie and guess who plays Harold Crick? Are you ready for it? Yes, it’s the one and only, Will Ferrell. I hope you were as surprised by this as I was. When I think of Will Ferrell, I think of movies like Elf or Step Brothers in which he plays a goofy character. Harold Crick is definitely a much more serious role however, I think Ferrell did it justice. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this piece of literature and appreciated the life lessons it had in store for the reader.