Plot Details: This opinion reveals minor details about the movie's plot.
Recommend this product?
Harold Crick (Will Ferrell) lives a boring life. He has no friends or social life. He works as an auditor for the IRS. He's so boring that he counts the number of times he brushes his teeth in the morning and the number of steps he takes.
All that changes one Wednesday. When he wakes up that morning, he hears a voice narrating his every action. Of course, this creeps him out, and his co-workers begin to notice his odd behavior. But things get even worse on his way home from work when the voice predicts his imminent death.
Harold doesn't relish that idea, so he begins to look for help with his problem. Eventually, he comes in contact with English professor Jules Hilbert (Dustin Hoffman), who tries to help him figure out what to do from a literary standpoint.
Meanwhile, famed novelist Kay Eiffel (Emma Thompson) is trying to figure out how to end her latest book, Death and Taxes. She's got everything figured out except how to kill off her main character, Harold Crick.
As far as I can remember, I've only seen one other Will Ferrell movie. Most of the previews look too over the top for my taste. This one intrigued me, however, so I set aside my prejudices and went to see it. I'm glad I did.
To be honest, I expected a funnier movie. From what I knew of Will's movies, I expected a laugh a minute over the top ride into the absurd. That's not what this movie is.
Don't get me wrong; the movie is funny. I chuckled and laughed through the entire thing. Just not as often as I thought I would.
That's because the movie has a serious tone to it. There's an underlying pathos to the story. Facing death, Harold realizes that he's never really lived. This gives him the boldness to go for some things he's always wanted to do and make some friends.
The tone is matched perfectly by the performances. Will Ferrell never goes over the top, and his antics match the tone of the scene. When he's trying to deal with the voice, he's wonderfully funny, but near the end he becomes very serious. Emma Thompson is wonderful as the chain-smoking writer struggling to come up with the perfect death for her book. Dustin Hoffman obvious has fun as the literary professor. Rounding out the cast, Queen Latifah makes the most of her part as Kay's assistant, and Maggie Gyllenhaal shines as the bakery owner Harold falls in love with.
While I do think the movie could have milked a little more humor from the premise, I like the final product. It's a great mix of comedy and drama that kept me entertained for the full two hours. And it packs some great themes into the mix as well.
Now if you'll excuse me, I think I need to go hang out with my friends.
Viewing Format: DVD
Suitability For Children: Suitable for Children Age 13 and Older