Sunday, December 10, 2006

Stranger than Fiction

I am currently grappling with an epigraph that has taken on a life of its own. For starters, it's a page long. Then it began to insinuate itself into the arguments I am making in the chapter, necessitating further research into potential links, connections, affiliations with the characters and plotlines that I was really interested in. At times it has threatened to overwhelm the chapter itself. And sometimes I feel like the epigraph and the 2 main characters have always known all along that they were really like each other, collectively rolling their eyes at the fitfull and halting way in which, I, the author, have begun to grasp their affinities.

So I identified somewhat with Karen Eiffel's (Emma Thompson) bewilderment, fascination, horror in Stranger than Fiction. This is a rare movie that manages to be conceptually interesting in ways similar to Adaptation, and quirky, sweet, funny, endearing. I usually walk out of movies like this tying myself up in knots, trying to resolve logical contradictions. Stranger isn't just a puzzle asking to be solved, it also manages to be human and quotidian. Thompson is brilliant as the neurotic author and Dustin Hoffman plays a literary theorist who looks weirdly like Edward Said. The reviews have been mixed, but they shouldn't be. I liked this movie.

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