spirits that speak


Life is...

Just finished watching Stranger than Fiction for the 2nd time since it was released. I watched it with loved ones. Those I have come to enjoy spending time with the most. You know who you are (my wife is included, even though she went to bed early).

But seeing it again, I was left with the same feeling I had having seen it the 1st time...or a similar one. If you haven't seen it I would urge you to, just for the experience. It's not that complex. Very simple story about a very simple man who encounters the strangest situation that likely anyone you might talk to would ever experience. A narrator is dictating the very finest and most intimate details of Harold Crick's life and he eventually begins to hear her. Then, "little did he know", she very plainly announces his imminent death. Imagine his reaction.

My sister said she didn't feel like she had seen it for the 1st time tonight, although she had. She clarified that she felt like she pretty much knew almost the entire story based on the previews, and the rest fell together throughout the course of the movie (being predictable and all). You know what? She's right. There's nothing that suspenseful or tricky here. They revealed the crux of the story through ads and trailers. How could they not, given how simple it is? But I think there's more to it than just the story.

For me, this was a philosophically logical sequel to Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. If you haven't read my thoughts on that, you can do so here (don't worry, it'll open in a new window...i'd hate you to leave this post in the middle of it ;-) . I'm not saying the story was similar, because it wasn't. Or even the characters, because they really weren't. But the messages they sent were very much 2 parts of the same philosophy.

Without giving away any of the story, because you really do need to see it, I'll say that it's very life affirming. It emphasizes all in life that we often take for granted that shouldn't be. Time spent with loved ones and with the activities that we most enjoy. This is the kind of relationship to our lives that I believe God wants us to have. No, the filmmakers wouldn't necessarily go in nearly that direction. But that's what I take away from it. There are these people and events in our lives that are extraordinary but are seen by many of us (not all) as ordinary on a daily basis. Actually, one of the people who genuinely do see them as what they are is also my sister (wish she saw that connection in the movie...yeah, i know you're reading this sis...). Then, after thinking about these things, for some reason Stranger than Fiction does for me become extraordinary and complex, with nuances that make me want to light a cigar and sit for 90 minutes to think about.

So, go. Get some Bavarian Sugar Cookies, invite some close friends and loved ones over, put the DVD in your player, and let the movie speak. What does your narrator say about your life???


  • nice post! we watched this a few weeks ago, after you and i talked about it on the phone i think (unless we talked about it on the phone afterwards and everything i'm about to say is just rehashed - at least between you and me :) ). definitely a great movie, i enjoyed it's simplicity, and actually the fact that it was straight-forward, and never missed its own beat. My favorite part was the ending(s). the book ending was great, a good ending to that part of the story; but following that, the second, more 'movie-like' ending was just as good. i was afraid as i watched, that it would feel and turn sour, with too much cheesiness. but, it pulled out the relational aspect of the movie very well, one of the best wrapups that i can think of.

    definitely a top 5 ending, up there with the departed (currently #1 in my book), and in line with About a Boy, which i also think has a great movie ending.

    On another note, did you get my disjunct message? Rachel is going to leave on friday alittle early, and i'm taking a half day off. we should be there between 4 and 6; if you want to give us a call that afternoon i can tell you exactly when we'll get there, give or take 10 minutes. just call our home phone # it will forward. see ya soon! give me a call before you leave if you have a chance so we can think of a more concrete time/place to meet up.


    By Blogger pxpaulx, at 17:03  

  • yes, the ending really tied things up, but not in a way that was overly cliche or mundane. i'm glad you hit on that point. endings can make or break a movie for me (still recovering from the worst ending i've ever seen...the break-up...perhaps i'll rant about that one day).

    yeah, i can see how the departed was number 1 for you. but would it still be number 1 if they came out with the sequel they've been talking about?

    seriously tho, dude, you have no idea how stoked i am about fargo. i can barely contain my anticipation and excitement. i actually squeal when i think about it too much. first thing i'm gonna do when i get there? go to JT, pick one out, and have a sit down all by myself to prepare for the weekend. so glad you guys will be there!

    By Blogger johnny m, at 23:44  

  • its gonna be fun! don't forget, if you or tanya are planning on buying clothes, make sure to do it in minnesota (over in moorhead) and not fargo because there is no tax on them in minnesota. see ya in a couple days!

    By Blogger pxpaulx, at 17:23  

  • Funny you should talk about this movie on your blog. Dave and I just rented this from Blockbuster tonite. It's a different sort of movie; rather odd. As per usual, though, I always miss movie endings because we stay up too late trying to watch them. zzzzzzzz!

    By Blogger Michelle, at 00:26  

  • hey, i have a new reader (or, at least, new commenter)! thanks for taking the time!

    yes, it is odd. but i think it's very fitting for a movie called "stranger than fiction" to be different and odd. i guess one would have to let the movie work on its own terms. hope you try it again...might i suggest starting it by 7pm? ;-)

    By Blogger johnny m, at 22:45  

  • Well said.

    By Anonymous Dalila, at 20:51  

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