Episode #186: Stranger Than Fiction – Consolation Rewatch

This week, we’re discussing one in every of Emma’s favourite consolation watch motion pictures for decor and residential inspiration. That is an ongoing collection for us, and this week’s choice is Stranger Than Fiction, directed by Marc Foster and written by Zach Helm.

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Present Notes:

Harold’s Condo:

  • Looks like an IKEA catalog
  • Very plain and bland
  • Represents his boring life

Karen’s Workplace:

  • Sterile and bland
  • Spilled espresso and cigarettes in every single place
  • Not a whole lot of furnishings

Ana’s Bakery (The Rebellion):

  • Eclectic and messy cute
  • Industrial and really open

Ana’s Condo:

  • Thrift store, boho, and comfy
  • Nothing matches
  • Cool and peculiar mild fixture above the eating desk

Professor Hilbert’s Workplace:

  • Elsie’s favourite inside within the film
  • A contemporary workplace that’s half home windows with floor-to-ceiling bookshelves

Price the Film From 0 to five Wristwatches: 

Elsie – 5 wristwatches

Emma – 5 wristwatches

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Episode 186 Transcript:

Emma: You’re listening to the A Stunning Mess Podcast, your cozy consolation hear. This week we’re discussing one in every of my favourite consolation watch motion pictures of all time, Stranger Than Fiction. That is an ongoing collection for us and we’re actually enthusiastic about this film, and it was directed by Mark Foster and written by Zach Helm.

Elsie: Okay, so this film is from 2006. I used to be simply posting this morning on Instagram, photos of it that I used to be watching it. I’ve been attempting to try this slightly extra to provide folks a warning of what film’s gonna be subsequent, and lots of people messaged me and didn’t know what the film was, which I used to be form of stunned by the clips I confirmed.

Emma: I do really feel like that is much less identified of all of the consolation rewatch we’ve performed to this point. That is a lot much less identified than something we’ve performed to this point, I believe. 

Elsie: Yeah, I believe it’s gone slightly bit below the radar additionally it’s 2006 is a fairly very long time in the past. 

Emma: I used to be in school. Yeah. 

Elsie: I used to be like wanting it up on this film, it’s Will Ferrell is the star of this film, and this solely got here out like three years after Elf got here out, which to me that’s like a very long time in the past, or it feels prefer it at the least. 

Emma: Yeah. Do you wanna give a synopsis? Since so many individuals haven’t seen this, we higher inform ’em what it’s about.

Elsie: Sure. Okay. Everybody is aware of that your life is a narrative, however what if a narrative was your life? Harold Crick, performed by Will Ferrell is your common IRS agent, monotonous, boring, and repetitive. Nicely, that’s slightly imply, however at some point this all modifications when Harold begins to listen to an writer in his head narrating his life, the narrator is awfully correct, and Harold realizes that the voice is an esteemed writer that he noticed on tv. When the narration reveals that he’s going to die, Harold should discover the writer of the story and in the end his life to persuade her to alter the ending of the story earlier than it’s too late. 

Emma: Yeah. So I really feel like that’s a part of what I cherished about this film. So I first noticed it in theaters when it got here out in 2006 and I used to be in school as a result of I keep in mind I noticed a buddy of mine from college and it was like a type of associates the place we’d at all times sit by one another on this one philosophy class, and we might at all times share notes and we had been associates for certain, however we by no means frolicked exterior of sophistication. 

Elsie: Like seeing your instructor on the grocery retailer. 

Emma: Yeah. It was like, I ran into him on the movie show and we’re each form of like, oh. Hello, and it was virtually like this little little bit of awkwardness as a result of it was like, we’re associates. Like we actually discuss each week, however we simply had by no means frolicked, socially. Simply, I don’t know, it’s humorous how school is. So one way or the other that form of stands out in my thoughts so far as issues I keep in mind from first seeing this film. And I don’t keep in mind who I noticed this with, who is aware of. You must have seen it with that buddy as a result of he was superior. However anyway. So a whole lot of occasions after we do consolation re-watches, we do love the flicks. We do at all times love the flicks, but additionally a whole lot of occasions we’re form of speaking concerning the inside design and the vibes, and we’re gonna discuss that for certain. However for me, this film was extra about the way it’s form of constructed round being literary, it’s like speculated to be about an writer who’s writing a e-book, and it seems that character is actual. And so, it’s very a lot doing a whole lot of literary tropes and attempting to be form of witty with these varieties of issues. And I simply cherished it. I like studying and so I like all of the scenes the place he’s like with the professor attempting to determine what sort of e-book he’s in. Like they’re attempting to determine if he’s in a comedy or a tragedy or if he’s fixing a homicide thriller or if he has magical powers or all these items, and it’s simply very, very humorous and enjoyable and form of jogs my memory of all the nice books I’ve learn on the similar time. But it surely’s undoubtedly a bizarre film, which is why I really feel such as you’ve both seen it and also you’re like, have an concept about it otherwise you’ve by no means seen it as a result of it’s only a very random, bizarre film. Do you keep in mind the primary time you noticed it? 

Elsie: I don’t keep in mind the primary time I noticed it. I do know that I had a DVD of it once you would nonetheless have a DVD assortment, greater than 10 years in the past.

So it was a film that I actually cherished and I suppose the factor I most keep in mind about it’s that this was the period, like I mentioned, it was just a few years after ELF got here out. On this period, Will Ferrell was one of many largest film stars for a little bit of time and I believe he’s like tremendous cute on this film. I like form of have a crush on him. And I did a survey on Instagram and the vast majority of folks additionally expertise some form of crush. So I believe it’s cute that he had his rom-com second and yeah, so I suppose I used to be actually centered on that, and I additionally love Maggie Gyllenhaal within the film, I believe she appears to be like so cute. Additionally, have a factor for Dustin Hoffman and his character’s actually cool and simply looks like somebody you’ll wanna hang around with on this film, his workplace it, as soon as we get into it, his workplace is for certain my favourite inside area within the film by like a mile. It’s actually good, and simply the volunteer lifeguard duties. It’s simply actually cute, It’s a really candy film, and I suppose I must also say this film has so many well-known folks in it that I used to be like, I forgot 99% of them, I simply remembered the principle two. But in addition Emma Thompson is so cool on this film, she was kinda stressing me out loads together with her shaky, shaky palms with the cigarettes all through it, however yeah, she was very cool. She undoubtedly performed the type of pretentious writer, very nicely. I form of do have a whole lot of love for her as nicely, like so many good motion pictures. 

Emma: I do too. And oddly sufficient too, might not point out this in one other half, so I wanna point out it now, Queen Latifah’s in it too. She performs Emma Thompson’s assistant that’s despatched by the writer to assist her end her e-book, and they also form of have this type of combating relationship all through. And he or she’s actually humorous on this film too, however she’s a really stoic, calm presence as a result of she’s speculated to be an individual who likes that will help you end your e-book. However anyway, she’s nice on this too. 

Elsie: Within the early two 1000’s Queen Latifah was in like each film for a time or like each film that I watched for a very long time. So yeah, it undoubtedly is a time capsule in some ways of the early two 1000’s or I suppose just like the mid two thousand however yeah, I assumed it aged rather well, there was nothing about it the place I used to be like that aged horribly. I believe it’s type of believably the final undoubtedly decade or the final time in my lifetime when not everybody was on their telephones. As a result of I observed there are hardly any cell telephones within the film, and that undoubtedly modified within the coming 10 years, it was like, for those who wanna make a contemporary film, then everybody has a telephone on a regular basis. On this film, they’re nonetheless utilizing payphones and stuff, which is form of enjoyable. 

Emma: Sure. Landlines. Yeah. Watches.

Elsie: Sure. I like that. Love that pre-cellphone period, for certain.

Emma: Yeah, and on this film, truly his watch is slightly little bit of a personality like his watch is sort of slightly bit sentient and causes issues to occur, which is type of one thing that like will get narrated and it feels very literary and it’s simply form of wacky. I additionally really feel like this film does such an important job of like, serving to you. We had been speaking about this the opposite day, Elsie and I, that some books would make superb motion pictures, after which there are occasions you learn a e-book and also you’re like, I like this as a e-book, and I actually hope they don’t make it right into a film. And I really feel like this does such an important job of displaying you a few of the ridiculousness of like, good e-book issues that for those who put them right into a film, it’s form of like, what? And it’s enjoyable. It’s like enjoyable. I believe it’s meant to be, you already know, it’s a romantic comedy, that’s what this film is, and so it’s very pleasing in that means.

Elsie: Okay, so on my tally of what number of occasions I cried, it’s my transferring week and that is part of it, however I cried 3 times. I really feel prefer it actually solely ought to have been one, however it’s form of a candy film and I cried loads on the finish. So yeah, I believe I’m simply within the feels-good-to-cry second proper now, however it undoubtedly had some crying alternatives all through. 

Emma: I at all times, this may need some spoilers, heads up everybody, however this film’s been out since we mentioned it’s 2006, it’s on you. 

Elsie: Spoilers are to be anticipated.

Emma: Yeah, however the half the place he’s enjoying the guitar, he’s like, I’m studying to play guitar, and he’s at his quickly to be girlfriend’s home, they usually’re having like form of their first date. And he or she’s like, oh, play one thing, she has a guitar, and he’s like, I actually solely know one tune. I don’t know. However then he does, he begins to play it, and I actually love his efficiency of it as a result of it felt like he was simply studying. It didn’t really feel like, oh, he actually is aware of the best way to play and he actually is aware of the best way to sing. It felt like an actual one who was doing a very good job enjoying this tune. But it surely’s slightly tiny bit awkward and it makes it form of susceptible and actually particular. And he or she is seeing him enjoying this tune and it’s simply actually cute. After which she like goes as much as him to provide him a kiss and him enjoying and singing cuts out they usually convey up within the soundtrack the actual tune with the complete band after which they’re like making out, and it’s actually cute. It’s simply one in every of my favourite scenes in a rom-com. It’s so candy and horny and foolish.

Elsie: It’s an excellent film makeout second. 

Emma: Yeah, it’s so good, I like that. After which there’s this half at the start of the date the place he brings her flowers, she’s a baker and he brings her all these several types of flowers. And every time I used to be courting my husband, Trey, he did that as a result of he knew how a lot I like this film and I like baking. And so he introduced me precisely the identical appear like little baggage of flowers, and so we had been we watched this collectively once more the opposite evening in preparation for me recording this. And I used to be identical to, I keep in mind once you purchased me flowers. It’s identical to this candy little factor in a film that I simply love as a result of I like baking. I simply wanna be identical to Maggie Gyllenhaal on this film, she’s so cool. 

Elsie: Her bakery, it’s like, it’s iconic, and her character is admittedly cute. Yeah, I adore it. Okay, so this film it’s not Knives Out, it doesn’t have the enduring decor, however it is rather cute and candy, it has moments. Okay, so I’ll simply begin with my favourite, so Professor Hilbert’s workplace, and identical to the best way he at all times, at all times, at all times, at all times has a espresso in his hand. And I don’t know, he’s identical to actually lovable, however he has type of this like fashionable workplace, the TAF home windows, the place it’s, you’re like sitting searching at these stunning views of some school campus. I don’t know what it’s. I believe that the IRS is in North Carolina. Am I flawed?

Emma: I believe there are a number of IRS areas, and I imagine that is set in New York. 

Elsie: Yeah, you’re proper, there are a whole lot of New York Metropolis scenes in it, so I don’t know why I mentioned that. Okay, so the remainder of his workplace, it’s like ground to ceiling bookshelves they usually’re stuffed like the comfortable means the place you imagine that there’s like slightly TV stuffed in there. You imagine that it’s like his actual books, like there’s a approach to make a bookshelf look actual and there’s a approach to make it look faux. And this, it appears to be like actually, actually, actually actual. I simply love listening to him discuss, asking all of the inquiries to Harold to attempt to outline who might be the writer who’s narrating his story. It’s all simply so candy. So anyway, that was my favourite area. After which, I don’t know, I’ve this bizarre factor the place I actually preferred the nostalgic feeling when he’s like in his lifeguard’s chair. I really feel like that type of indoor pool is a giant a part of my childhood. After which the opposite area that I actually like Anna’s Bakery and Anna’s residence. So her bakery is form of identical to an everyday New York bakery, it’s stunning. It’s cute.

Emma: They make it look very cramped. Like you’ll be able to see the carts with all of the trays of issues are form of round. So it’s like actually cute in there and feels eclectic and messy cute, however it additionally appears to be like slightly industrial and really open so far as half the kitchen’s at the least open. 

Elsie: And her residence could be very like a thrift store woman boho, cozy. It’s very eclectic, I believe that may undoubtedly be the right phrase to outline it by, nothing’s matching, and he or she’s bought a tiny, small television. It’s simply candy, it’s cute. It’s what you assume that an residence for somebody who’s of their twenties or thirties, a small single girl’s residence ought to appear like. It simply appears to be like cozy. Yeah, for those who do watch it after, then undoubtedly be careful for like the sunshine fixture in her, like a buffer eating room desk I assumed was like actually cool and peculiar. I don’t know, what the precise search time period is for it. However I noticed one the opposite day on eBay and I keep in mind pondering it’s not one thing that I’d put in my home. It’s not the precise period, however it’s undoubtedly beautiful and in additional of a seventies means, like very vibey.

Emma: Yeah. It’s form of seventies boho feeling like this type of hanging issues. So perhaps we must also point out Harold’s residence in Karen’s workplace. Karen is the writer who’s writing the e-book that Harold’s in. So Harold’s residence I really feel like they’re simply attempting to inform us one thing about him with it. That’s all you really want to know as a result of it feels identical to an IKEA catalog. It appears like a lodge room that no person lives in that simply bought cleaned, it’s extraordinarily plain, extraordinarily bland. It doesn’t appear like somebody truly lives there, as a result of they’re attempting to drive residence that like Harold doesn’t actually dwell. As a result of on this film that’s type of what the film’s about is he’s discovering his life and residing it. In order that they’re telling a narrative via the set and as such it’s not a really inspiring place. And about midway via the film, it will get semi-demolished as a result of he tries one thing with Professor Hilbert the place he does nothing for a day, seeing if that strikes the plot ahead or not. And like a crane comes via his window they usually type of had been like, okay, so the plot strikes with out you. So it will get type of destroyed, which is form of humorous, it’s a really humorous second. However I form of wished to say, so then his buddy from the IRS, goes to stick with him, and he mentions eager to go to area camp. One in all his traces within the film is like, you’re by no means too outdated for area camp, dude. He’s into area, and for those who like discover there are many particulars in his residence. Even just like the meals they’re consuming at dinner the place it appears to be like like Star Trek.

Elsie: It’s probably the most like pod sleeping like Star Trek wanting residence constructing. I don’t even know the way they discovered a location like that. It’s very cute. 

Emma: Yeah, it’s actually humorous and only a enjoyable little random element. It’s not very a lot the film takes place in there, however it’s simply form of fascinating. After which Karen’s workplace, just like Harold, however another way. It feels very sterile and never very lived in, it’s very stark prefer it appears like somebody with melancholy lives there and works there as a result of it’s like sheep.

Elsie: Yeah, there’s like a spilled espresso, and a whole lot of cigarettes in every single place. And that’s type of the whole aesthetic.

Emma: And like hardly any furnishings. So it’s like, clearly she doesn’t need anybody to return over and have a seat as a result of there could be nowhere for them to take a seat. So it’s only a very empty, however it’s form of fairly, it’s very like black and white and fashionable wanting. However yeah, it’s meant to indicate us about her, which she’s very, like in her head, she’s an writer and it’s additionally like she’s form of going via this author’s block factor. They talked about too all through the film that she hasn’t been seen in 10 years, she’s form of a recluse. So I believe perhaps she’s going via some issues in her life lets say. I don’t know. I don’t actually wanna say melancholy as a result of I don’t actually know if that’s what the character’s going via. However she’s clearly bordered herself away and feels very caught in her work and is attempting to determine that out.

Elsie: Yeah, I believe they beautiful clearly talk that she’s like going via struggles, and like some form of psychological well being struggles and it’s unhappy to look at, but additionally inspiring in some elements. 

Emma: Yeah, and I believe too, like Queen Latifah’s character, the assistant, I really feel like her identify’s Penny, however I can’t keep in mind now. However she is form of like they’re attempting to assist her and it truthfully jogs my memory a lot of once I’m going via like a downtime typically I’m like, no, I don’t wanna go on a stroll. No, I don’t wanna name my buddy. No, I don’t wanna go, you already know, and that’s form of what Karen’s prefer to Queen Latifah’s character. She’s very like, no, I’m not gonna do your flashcard factor to determine, you already know, Queen Latifah’s character is mainly attempting to assist her, and he or she’s simply, very a lot refusing all the assistance. I’m like, I do know what that’s like. I’ve performed that earlier than.

Elsie: Yeah, I believe that the coziness of this film, it’s not as a lot within the interiors, however you’ll really feel it all through. So yeah, for those who’re on the fence, undoubtedly give it a watch. It’s on our listing of favourite motion pictures, so it needs to be good. You already know in my film room, I’ve all these posters, I even have one in every of Stranger Than Fiction. 

Emma: I adore it. But it surely’s undoubtedly bizarre, however yeah for those who’ve by no means seen it, I undoubtedly would test it out. It’s wild. Benefit from the experience. 

Elsie: By the best way, I’d say I like getting requests for the Consolation Rewatch episodes. It’s so enjoyable as a result of they’re all so completely different and persons are very enthusiastic about their picks. So anytime you’re feeling within the temper, ship us a passionate request in your favourite film, and we truthfully most likely will get to it as a result of I believe we’ll be doing this phase for a number of years, it’s like one in every of our favourite issues to do. Okay. It’s trivia time. Whereas filming Will Ferrell wore an earpiece that fed him Emma Thompson’s narrative traces in an effort to help the opposite solid members in reacting extra naturally to Ferrell’s, seemingly non-sequitur traces. So, yeah, he has a whole lot of elements all through the film the place he’s like, Hey, like that, you already know, to the, yeah, to the sky or no matter.

Emma: I used to be curious if they’d somebody off digicam saying the traces and everybody’s listening to them. However yeah, that is truly actually fascinating that they went via the difficulty of solely Will can hear the traces and everybody round him is simply reacting to him solely. In order that’s fairly fascinating truly. Okay, the following one is the film Harold sees within the theater after he’s instructed to dwell his life is Monty Python’s, the Which means of Life, which is from 1983. They see him in a movie show and he’s form of simply blowing off work or no matter and simply residing life, in order that’s form of cute that’s what the film is that he’s watching. You possibly can inform it’s an outdated film, however yeah, I couldn’t inform what it was to be sincere, in order that’s humorous.

Elsie: The title of the film comes from a well-known quote from Lord Byron’s, Don Juan, tis unusual, however true for reality is at all times unusual, stranger than fiction. If it might be informed, how a lot would novels acquire by the change, how in another way the world would males behold. I at all times questioned if Stranger Issues comes from, like Stranger Issues have occurred, As a result of they sound the identical, however it’s prefer it’s from a very completely different quote, or is it from form of the identical quote?

Emma: I believe they’re from completely different quotes, however I don’t actually know what Stranger Issues comes from. I at all times thought it meant there are stranger issues or you already know, stranger issues on the market, no matter. 

Elsie: Yeah. Stranger Than Fiction is a superb quote. I adore it. 

Emma: Yeah, it’s a very good identify for this film too. Good choose. The novel that Karen Eiffel is writing that Will Ferrell’s characters is named Loss of life and Taxes, and this can be a reference to the well-known quote. On this world, nothing may be mentioned to make certain besides Loss of life and Taxes, which was written by Benjamin Franklin in an outdated letter from 1789. 

Elsie: I’ll say, I hate that quote. It’s such a downy downer, I don’t know. I imply clearly, it’s true. It’s humorous. I suppose it’s only a miserable, humorous joke, no matter. However yeah, I believe Loss of life and Taxes, it’s not a novel that I’d choose up. So I’m glad it was faux, however I don’t know, I suppose I cherished within the film how Professor Hilbert’s character thinks that she’s like such a genius although. That made me extra and I form of want, like she says in a single half, one other character that she killed in one other e-book and I want that we knew extra of them as a result of that’s what she’s identified for as like at all times killing a personality like a beloved character on the finish of each e-book. Anyway, I’m glad it’s referred to as Stranger Than Fiction and Not Loss of life and Taxes. 

Emma: I’d’ve preferred it both means. Okay. One other trivia is that Emma Thompson wore no make-up on this film. Which I believe is fairly fascinating. She has nice pores and skin truly.

Elsie: I assumed she appears to be like nice. That’s what I used to be pondering too. That is bizarre, however you understand how in Love Truly, she’s speculated to be Hugh Grant’s sister, I assumed on this film she appeared extra like she might be his sister. I don’t know if it was like her haircut, I simply was like, I may see it, however this isn’t the precise place, the not the precise time, and never the precise place. 

Emma: Yeah, I suppose I see that. Yeah. I additionally assume it’s simply form of a daring selection. I assume it was her selection, or at the least clearly she went together with it. Loved if another person was making the selection, she was clearly on board.

Elsie: It suits her character very nicely. 

Emma: It does, it very a lot suits her character. I additionally assume it’s simply daring to be like, I’m gonna be in a significant film and I’m going to put on no make-up, and it most likely saved her a ton of time. She didn’t have to indicate as much as hair and make-up so early.

Elsie: That’s true. Oh my gosh. A reoccurring theme is how Harold’s wristwatch modifications his life. There are a number of scenes during which Harold sits on the bench exterior Anna’s bakery. There’s a big spherical window on the wall that resembles a watch via which Harold appears to be like at Anna. That’s cute. Yeah. I do love a spherical window.

Emma: I do too as a result of it simply stands out. I adore it. Okay, talking of watches, how would you fee this film from zero to 5 wristwatches? 

Elsie: Positively a 5. I imply, there’s nothing unhealthy about it. There’s every thing good. I assumed it held up. I suppose I form of was fearful that I’d’ve thought it was higher again within the day after which watched it now and been like, uh, you already know. However I nonetheless actually loved it. I imply, I cried 3 times.

Emma: I like this film. Apart from Knives Out, that is most likely my different favourite film as a result of I simply get pleasure from it and adore it. However I’ll say, I do assume the truth that they’re form of gonna let Harold die as a result of they assume the ending of her e-book is so good, is slightly bit unbelievable, however then they take it again. But it surely’s just a bit bit unbelievable. To me, it’s like this can be a rom-com. Not every thing needs to be like excellent for me. I really feel just like the film works anyway, so I don’t actually care. So anyway, I’m giving it 5 watches.

Elsie: I form of believed that half.

Emma: Yeah, I assumed the unhappy ending was superior to letting him dwell. I imply, her e-book was referred to as Loss of life and Taxes, after which she doesn’t kill him, however it’s like she’s gone on her personal hero’s journey. Identical to Harold has, as a result of he’s now modified his life a lot, and he or she’s additionally modified the best way she writes and what she cares about. So you already know, we’ve two protagonists on this film in a means. However anyway, I prefer it. It’s enjoyable. 5 wrist watch. 

Elsie: Yep. You hear that can Ferrell 5 watches for you. Okay. It’s now time to go over a joke and a reality with Nova. Hey Nova, do you may have a joke for us or a reality this week? 

Nova: A joke. 

Elsie: Okay. I’m prepared. 

Nova: What does pumpkin eat? 

Elsie: What? 

Nova: Pumpkin pie. 

Elsie: Oh, that’s a very good one. We hope you loved this episode. Please proceed to ship us your whole requests. We’ve got been retaining a log of them. We do about one a month, in order that’s like 12 a 12 months. So perhaps we’ll get to yours this decade. 

Emma: So we’ll get there, maintain ’em coming. 

Elsie: We are going to maintain going and you’ll electronic mail us anytime at [email protected]. Subsequent week we’re speaking about what it was like furnishing my new home from utterly scratch.