Stranger Than Fiction - Did I Miss Something?

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Its interesting that when Stranger than Fiction came out, it simply came and went, it was hyped as this great movie but simply became nothing more than a blimp on the radar and faded out. Now it seems as some time has passed, its developing a cultish following almost since I can't go a week without hear or reading someone praising the movie or about Wil Ferrel's performance. Now I saw the movie when it came out, actually had pre-screening tickets, and I definately didn't think it was bad but it certainly wasn't great.

I suppose my problem with the film was how generic it was with such a cool concept. Okay so you have an author who's writing about a real person, cool concept, what does it turn into generic "romance" film with a twist. Shy character is forced in a scenario where he meets girl and sees how his life is terrible. I mean there really isn't much more depth to the film than that. Now I suppose since it suppose to be mainstream it couldn't go into any of the cool deep questions like the value of literary characters, whether they actually have feelings, are literary characters really human, etc... But come on everything simply was regaled to simply being a plot device for the generic love story and hell it even has a happy go-lucky ending. I seem to be the only one who didn't think it was all that great, anyone else here feel this way?

Again I don't hate the film and can't even call it bad but it definitely felt like wasted potential.
 
Eh, I didn't like it.

*Crouches in anticipation of being flamed*
 
I don't think it is a great movie (though it is a good one), I think what impressed people about, though, is that it proves Will Ferrel actually does have some acting chops when he chooses roles outside of his norm.
 
I actually thought it was a great movie. I liked the whole fighting your fate thing, the author's guilt over being in control of his destiny, and Ferrel's character's whole way of figuring it out. The only one I felt didn't belong was Queen Latifah.

Not really sure how you found it generic.
 
Not really sure how you found it generic.

For the reasons I listed :whatever:

Fighting fate? The entire movie is based on clever plot devices without any real heart. Will Ferrel's character in end basically gives up and it pulls out a completely unsatisfying and though I hate the term "hollywood" ending to conform to the genre conventions it so evidently a slave to. That is why I found it generic because Will Ferel's fighting fate is akin to EVERY pathetic character struggle in these type of formulaic movies. As for Ferrel's acting chops, I won't dispute that but this movie was simply okay for me.
 
I don't think it is a great movie (though it is a good one), I think what impressed people about, though, is that it proves Will Ferrel actually does have some acting chops when he chooses roles outside of his norm.

I agree with this assessment...
 
For the reasons I listed :whatever:
The only reason I saw you list for it being generic is that it's a romance movie.:whatever:
Fighting fate? The entire movie is based on clever plot devices without any real heart.
I don't see how him trying to fight his fate is considered a plot device, when it's what the movie is about.
Will Ferrel's character in end basically gives up and it pulls out a completely unsatisfying and though I hate the term "hollywood" ending to conform to the genre conventions it so evidently a slave to.
Will's character gave up in the end because he fought all that he could, and he ends up choosing to embrace his fate, in what would have been a poetic way.
The author decided to change his fate because she couldn't kill him.
That is why I found it generic because Will Ferel's fighting fate is akin to EVERY pathetic character struggle in these type of formulaic movies.
How so?
As for Ferrel's acting chops, I won't dispute that but this movie was simply okay for me.
Okay, good for you...:huh:
 
The only reason I saw you list for it being generic is that it's a romance movie.:whatever:

Read again since you seem to have miss a crucial part which is that it plays out exactly like every other romance movie.

I don't see how him trying to fight his fate is considered a plot device, when it's what the movie is about.

BECAUSE THAT'S WHAT EVERY MOVIE IS ABOUT! :D Christ, that's the most generic thing I've ever heard, what the heck does that even mean? Fight your fate, isn't that what every character is doing the minute a conflict is set up?

Will's character gave up in the end because he fought all that he could, and he ends up choosing to embrace his fate, in what would have been a poetic way.
The author decided to change his fate because she couldn't kill him.

Please understand what I'm arguing which is why you failed to get my last point that its a good movie. Which is that I thought it was a good movie but forgettable. That it presented a cliche character who goes through a cliche character arc with a cliche ending. All of this was done very finely so that it was entertaining but in the end really didn't do much for me. In the end when you strip away the gimmick of the film you have the same story that been told time and time again. The gimmick is simply that a gimmick without any real depth. In the end it simply a story about a man who leads a pathetic life and needed a kick in the ass.


Shy character meets Girl he wouldn't of otherwise met. He gets laid, he begins taking control of his life, crisis happens that prevents him from continuing on, bam happy ending. It the same god-damn plot structure of every movie in that genre.
 
I love this movie. I own it on Blu-Ray.
 
Read again since you seem to have miss a crucial part which is that it plays out exactly like every other romance movie.
Or maybe you should just make it clear where it is you explained it, because it still just looks like you say it's generic because it's a romance movie
BECAUSE THAT'S WHAT EVERY MOVIE IS ABOUT! :D Christ, that's the most generic thing I've ever heard, what the heck does that even mean? Fight your fate, isn't that what every character is doing the minute a conflict is set up?
Every movie is not about fighting their fate. If you think that's what every movie is about, you should just stop watching them altogether, because according to your logic they are all generic with each other.:whatever:

The minute a conflict is set up, the character in conflict has choices to make; it's not always a conflict concerning fate.

Please understand what I'm arguing which is why you failed to get my last point that its a good movie. Which is that I thought it was a good movie but forgettable. That it presented a cliche character who goes through a cliche character arc with a cliche ending. All of this was done very finely so that it was entertaining but in the end really didn't do much for me. In the end when you strip away the gimmick of the film you have the same story that been told time and time again. The gimmick is simply that a gimmick without any real depth. In the end it simply a story about a man who leads a pathetic life and needed a kick in the ass.
So you're pretty much upset a movie is telling a story differently than what's the norm?
Shy character meets Girl he wouldn't of otherwise met. He gets laid, he begins taking control of his life, crisis happens that prevents him from continuing on, bam happy ending. It the same god-damn plot structure of every movie in that genre.
Every movie shares a basic plot structure no matter the genre. The reason is you can only have so many basic plot structures, it's a matter of how you tell the story.
There's always gonna be the whole Boy-Girl love story, or the Revenge story, or the Epic journey story. Originality is dead when it comes to making basic plot structures.:o
 
Or maybe you should just make it clear where it is you explained it, because it still just looks like you say it's generic because it's a romance movie

I'm not arguing this anymore since you clearly won't accept this.

Every movie is not about fighting their fate. If you think that's what every movie is about, you should just stop watching them altogether, because according to your logic they are all generic with each other.:whatever:

Every film is about a character fighting against something and fate is such a generic and vague term. When Frodo leaves the shire he's fighting his fate of being a boring hobbit. When Maverick joins Top Gun in Top Gun he fighting his fate as the loser son of a disgraced pilot, etc. I mean I'm not arguing against the idea of it but it definately not a huge selling point for me here.

So you're pretty much upset a movie is telling a story differently than what's the norm?

Um read my posts. The only thing unique in Stranger than Fiction is a gimmicky plot device that never elevates past being simply a plot device that asks no new or interesting questions of the genre its entering.

Every movie shares a basic plot structure no matter the genre. The reason is you can only have so many basic plot structures, it's a matter of how you tell the story.
There's always gonna be the whole Boy-Girl love story, or the Revenge story, or the Epic journey story. Originality is dead when it comes to making basic plot structures.:o

This is true to an extent however let's take some great entries in the romance genre since that's what what Stranger than Fiction is. Look at something like Harry Met Sally its gimmick was that the two main characters were just friends, that became more than a gimmick and became an entire theory on how society forms its relation it transcended the gimmick to something more. While with Stranger than Fiction I did not feel that at all, it did not provide any depth or food for thought, it simply was an entertaining romance which is fine but to me it is not great. I've said my piece and anymore would simply be going in circles. I've enjoyed are little back and forth and I respect your opinion however I respectfully disagree.
 
You know to those chiming in with "I like" or "I dislike" the film, please chime in the discussion. I applaud Majik for defending the film and respect his opinion, and next time I view the film I'll keep his comment in mind. Remember where here for the discussion of ideas and what not.
 
well my discussion is very simple...I disliked the film because the plot as you somewhat said was very average...The acting by Will was good but I just disliked the story in general...
 
I'm not arguing this anymore since you clearly won't accept this.
I'm not arguing anything, just asking for where you pointed out it was generic
Every film is about a character fighting against something and fate is such a generic and vague term. When Frodo leaves the shire he's fighting his fate of being a boring hobbit. When Maverick joins Top Gun in Top Gun he fighting his fate as the loser son of a disgraced pilot, etc. I mean I'm not arguing against the idea of it but it definately not a huge selling point for me here.
Okay, then the fate just doesn't appeal to you. This movie was all about fate.
Um read my posts. The only thing unique in Stranger than Fiction is a gimmicky plot device that never elevates past being simply a plot device that asks no new or interesting questions of the genre its entering.
See the thing is, it's not a gimmicky plot device. They didn't just add them in for the hell of it, it's what the movie is about. As for the questions, did you miss all the scenes with Dustin Hoffman? It's pretty much putting it deliberately out in the open for the audience.
This is true to an extent however let's take some great entries in the romance genre since that's what what Stranger than Fiction is. Look at something like Harry Met Sally its gimmick was that the two main characters were just friends, that became more than a gimmick and became an entire theory on how society forms its relation it transcended the gimmick to something more. While with Stranger than Fiction I did not feel that at all, it did not provide any depth or food for thought, it simply was an entertaining romance which is fine but to me it is not great. I've said my piece and anymore would simply be going in circles. I've enjoyed are little back and forth and I respect your opinion however I respectfully disagree.
You're confusing gimmick with story. And as for the theory the movie brings it plays to an audience where pretty much all they do is eat, sleep, and work according to how society has it set up and this movie shows what would happen if you try to break that mold, even if it's set in stone for you.
 
I thought it was good . The film was outside the norm and came at a good time . Will did do better than usual . Also I liked Hoffman's character. I wouldn't say this film is a masterpiece but it is good If you want soemthing quirky.
 
i liked it and actually thought it was under-rated. 'course im just trying to enjoy it from an average film-goers point of view and not trying to analyze it based on 'potential of what it should or could have been' or anything slightly resembling a professional opinion. :o
 
i liked it and actually thought it was under-rated. 'course im just trying to enjoy it from an average film-goers point of view and not trying to analyze it based on 'potential of what it should or could have been' or anything slightly resembling a professional opinion. :o

Ha, point well-taken :D Its been awhile AlteredEgo, where you been?
 
Good movie.

I doubt there will be a cult. Too feel good. But a lot of bad movies get cult followings, so why not a good one that isn't really goofy over the top humor or having an emo following.
 
Ha, point well-taken :D Its been awhile AlteredEgo, where you been?
eh, lurking mostly, havent had a lot to say, but tryin' to get back in the postin' game y'dig? ha, lot has changed though. you ever hear from any of the old C4 gang still? :csad:
 
Liked the film, a lot. Was a fresh take on deciding someone's fate :up:
 
i wanna see this film, it would be cool to see will ferrell in this kind of role,

and with his clothes on throughout the whole film...hopefully
 
I though the film was okay, but still nothing special considering the potential of such a good story idea.
 

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