Watching Stranger Than Fiction (2007-01-12)

Let me tell you how it will be
There's one for you, nineteen for me
'Cause I'm the taxman
Yeah, I'm the taxman
--The Beatles, "Taxman"

Appropriate to my needed renewed empathy for those who aren't "neurotypical," the friend who showed us the existential comedy I Heart Huckabees recently invited us to see Stranger Than Fiction. After dinner in the nearly-empty Bambuza Vietnamese Bistro, we walked to Meridian 16 for the movie.

Will Ferrell describes his character, Harold Crick--an IRS auditor--, as "slightly OCD." If the distinction is "those with OCD know their behavior is problematic where the symptoms of OCPD are part of a person's personality," I would describe Harold as OCPD.

I like movies with multiple levels, stories within stories, and interaction between form and content, so I found the film enjoyable. It's "a movie about a guy who has a narrator." Especially entertaining were the numbers and thin white schematics in scenes emphasizing Harold's counting and alignment.

The appearance of Tony Hale ("Arrested Development") was amusing. The performance of Maggie Gyllenhaal--as the happy and lively love interest--was delightful. (I wonder, Did she give Ryan's message to Jake?)

Harold Crick's life looks boring. Nevertheless, he wants to live it. The movie centers on his efforts to do so despite his "imminent death."

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