Episode #186: Stranger Than Fiction – Consolation Rewatch

This week, we’re discussing considered one of Emma’s favourite consolation watch motion pictures for decor and residential inspiration. That is an ongoing sequence 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 Residence:

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

Karen’s Workplace:

  • Sterile and bland
  • Spilled espresso and cigarettes all over the place
  • Not quite a lot of furnishings

Ana’s Bakery (The Rebellion):

  • Eclectic and messy cute
  • Industrial and really open

Ana’s Residence:

  • Thrift store, boho, and comfortable
  • Nothing matches
  • Cool and bizarre 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 considered one of my favourite consolation watch motion pictures of all time, Stranger Than Fiction. That is an ongoing sequence 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 a bit of extra to provide individuals 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 sort of shocked by the clips I confirmed.

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

Elsie: Yeah, I believe it’s gone a bit of bit beneath the radar additionally it’s 2006 is a reasonably very long time in the past. 

Emma: I used to be in faculty. 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 no less than. 

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. Effectively, that’s a bit of imply, however someday this all adjustments when Harold begins to listen to an creator in his head narrating his life, the narrator is very correct, and Harold realizes that the voice is an esteemed creator that he noticed on tv. When the narration reveals that he’s going to die, Harold should discover the creator of the story and in the end his life to persuade her to vary 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 liked about this film. So I first noticed it in theaters when it got here out in 2006 and I used to be in faculty as a result of I keep in mind I noticed a good friend of mine from faculty and it was like a type of mates the place we might all the time sit by one another on this one philosophy class, and we might all the time share notes and we had been mates for certain, however we by no means frolicked exterior of sophistication. 

Elsie: Like seeing your trainer on the grocery retailer. 

Emma: Yeah. It was like, I ran into him on the movie show and we’re each sort of like, oh. Hello, and it was virtually like this little little bit of awkwardness as a result of it was like, we’re mates. Like we actually speak each week, however we simply had by no means frolicked, socially. Simply, I don’t know, it’s humorous how faculty is. So someway that sort 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 good friend as a result of he was superior. However anyway. So quite a lot of occasions after we do consolation re-watches, we do love the flicks. We do all the time love the flicks, but in addition quite a lot of occasions we’re sort 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 sort of constructed round being literary, it’s like alleged to be about an creator who’s writing a e-book, and it seems that character is actual. And so, it’s very a lot doing quite a lot of literary tropes and attempting to be sort of witty with these forms of issues. And I simply liked it. I really like studying and so I really 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 this stuff, and it’s simply very, very humorous and enjoyable and sort of jogs my memory of all the good books I’ve learn on the identical time. Nevertheless it’s positively a bizarre film, which is why I really feel such as you’ve both seen it and also you’re like, have an thought 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 liked and I assume the factor I most keep in mind about it’s that this was the period, like I mentioned, it was only some years after ELF got here out. On this period, Will Ferrell was one of many greatest film stars for a little bit of time and I believe he’s like tremendous cute on this film. I like sort of have a crush on him. And I did a survey on Instagram and the vast majority of individuals additionally expertise some sort of crush. So I believe it’s lovely that he had his rom-com second and yeah, so I assume I used to be actually centered on that, and I additionally love Maggie Gyllenhaal within the film, I believe she seems so cute. Additionally, have a factor for Dustin Hoffman and his character’s actually cool and simply looks like somebody you’d 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 house 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 assume I also needs to say this film has so many well-known individuals in it that I used to be like, I forgot 99% of them, I simply remembered the primary two. But additionally Emma Thompson is so cool on this film, she was kinda stressing me out so much together with her shaky, shaky fingers with the cigarettes all through it, however yeah, she was very cool. She positively performed the type of pretentious creator, very properly. I sort of do have quite a lot of love for her as properly, 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 sort 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 alleged to be an individual who likes that can assist you end your e-book. However anyway, she’s nice on this too. 

Elsie: Within the early two hundreds 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 positively is a time capsule in some ways of the early two hundreds or I assume just like the mid two thousand however yeah, I believed it aged very 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 positively 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 positively modified within the coming 10 years, it was like, should you wanna make a contemporary film, then everybody has a cellphone on a regular basis. On this film, they’re nonetheless utilizing payphones and stuff, which is sort of enjoyable. 

Emma: Sure. Landlines. Yeah. Watches.

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

Emma: Yeah, and on this film, truly his watch is a bit of little bit of a personality like his watch is sort of a bit of 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 sort of wacky. I additionally really feel like this film does such an ideal job of like, serving to you. We had been speaking about this the opposite day, Elsie and I, that some books would make wonderful motion pictures, after which there are occasions you learn a e-book and also you’re like, I really 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 ideal job of displaying you a few of the ridiculousness of like, good e-book issues that should you put them right into a film, it’s sort of like, what? And it’s enjoyable. It’s like enjoyable. I believe it’s meant to be, you recognize, it’s a romantic comedy, that’s what this film is, and so it’s very pleasurable in that approach.

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 sort of a candy film and I cried so much on the finish. So yeah, I believe I’m simply within the feels-good-to-cry second proper now, however it positively had some crying alternatives all through. 

Emma: I all the time, 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, and so they’re having like sort 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 track. 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 that was doing job enjoying this track. Nevertheless it’s a bit of tiny bit awkward and it makes it sort of susceptible and actually particular. And he or she is seeing him enjoying this track 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 and so they carry up within the soundtrack the actual track with the total band after which they’re like making out, and it’s actually cute. It’s simply considered one 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 really like that. After which there’s this half in the beginning of the date the place he brings her flowers, she’s a baker and he brings her all these several types of flowers. And each time I used to be courting my husband, Trey, he did that as a result of he knew how a lot I really like this film and I really like baking. And so he introduced me precisely the identical seem like little luggage of flowers, and so we had been we watched this collectively once more the opposite night time in preparation for me recording this. And I used to be similar to, I keep in mind once you purchased me flowers. It’s similar to this candy little factor in a film that I simply love as a result of I really like baking. I simply wanna be similar 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 find it irresistible. Okay, so this film it’s not Knives Out, it doesn’t have the long-lasting 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 similar to the way in which he all the time, all the time, all the time, all the time has a espresso in his hand. And I don’t know, he’s similar to actually lovable, however he has type of this like fashionable workplace, the TAF home windows, the place it’s, you’re like sitting looking at these lovely views of some faculty campus. I don’t know what it’s. I believe that the IRS is in North Carolina. Am I fallacious?

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 quite a 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 flooring to ceiling bookshelves and so they’re stuffed like the comfy approach the place you imagine that there’s like a bit of TV stuffed in there. You imagine that it’s like his actual books, like there’s a method to make a bookshelf look actual and there’s a method to make it look pretend. And this, it seems actually, actually, actually actual. I simply love listening to him speak, asking all of the inquiries to Harold to attempt to outline who might be the creator who’s narrating his story. It’s all simply so candy. So anyway, that was my favourite house. After which, I don’t know, I’ve this bizarre factor the place I actually favored 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 house that I actually like Anna’s Bakery and Anna’s condominium. So her bakery is sort of similar to a daily New York bakery, it’s lovely. It’s cute.

Emma: They make it look very cramped. Like you may see the carts with all of the trays of issues are sort of round. So it’s like actually cute in there and feels eclectic and messy cute, however it additionally seems a bit of industrial and really open so far as half the kitchen’s no less than open. 

Elsie: And her condominium could be very like a thrift store girl boho, cozy. It’s very eclectic, I believe that might positively 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 suppose that an condominium for somebody who’s of their twenties or thirties, a small single lady’s condominium ought to seem like. It simply seems cozy. Yeah, should you do watch it after, then positively be careful for like the sunshine fixture in her, like a buffer eating room desk I believed was like actually cool and bizarre. I don’t know, what the appropriate search time period is for it. However I noticed one the opposite day on eBay and I keep in mind considering it’s not one thing that I might put in my home. It’s not the appropriate period, however it’s positively gorgeous and in additional of a seventies approach, like very vibey.

Emma: Yeah. It’s sort of seventies boho feeling like this type of hanging issues. So possibly we also needs to point out Harold’s condominium in Karen’s workplace. Karen is the creator who’s writing the e-book that Harold’s in. So Harold’s condominium I really feel like they’re simply attempting to inform us one thing about him with it. That’s all you actually need to know as a result of it feels similar 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 seem like somebody truly lives there, as a result of they’re attempting to drive house that like Harold doesn’t actually stay. 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. So that they’re telling a narrative by way of the set and as such it’s not a really inspiring place. And about midway by way of 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 by way of his window and so they type of had been like, okay, so the plot strikes with out you. So it will get type of destroyed, which is sort of humorous, it’s a really humorous second. However I sort of wished to say, so then his good friend from the IRS, goes to stick with him, and he mentions eager to go to house camp. One in every of his strains within the film is like, you’re by no means too previous for house camp, dude. He’s into house, and should you like discover there are many particulars in his condominium. Even just like the meals they’re consuming at dinner the place it seems like Star Trek.

Elsie: It’s probably the most like pod sleeping like Star Trek wanting condominium constructing. I don’t even understand how 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 sort of attention-grabbing. After which Karen’s workplace, much like Harold, however otherwise. 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 quite a lot of cigarettes all over the place. And that’s type of your complete aesthetic.

Emma: And like hardly any furnishings. So it’s like, clearly she doesn’t need anybody to come back over and have a seat as a result of there can be nowhere for them to sit down. So it’s only a very empty, however it’s sort 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 creator and it’s additionally like she’s sort of going by way of this author’s block factor. They talked about too all through the film that she hasn’t been seen in 10 years, she’s sort of a recluse. So I believe possibly she’s going by way of 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 by way of. 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 stunning clearly talk that she’s like going by way of struggles, and like some sort of psychological well being struggles and it’s unhappy to observe, but in addition inspiring in some components. 

Emma: Yeah, and I believe too, like Queen Latifah’s character, the assistant, I really feel like her title’s Penny, however I can’t keep in mind now. However she is sort of like they’re attempting to assist her and it truthfully jogs my memory a lot of after I’m going by way of like a downtime generally I’m like, no, I don’t wanna go on a stroll. No, I don’t wanna name my good friend. No, I don’t wanna go, you recognize, and that’s sort of what Karen’s wish to Queen Latifah’s character. She’s very like, no, I’m not gonna do your flashcard factor to determine, you recognize, Queen Latifah’s character is principally 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 executed 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, should you’re on the fence, positively give it a watch. It’s on our record of favourite motion pictures, so it needs to be good. in my film room, I’ve all these posters, I even have considered one of Stranger Than Fiction. 

Emma: I find it irresistible. Nevertheless it’s positively bizarre, however yeah should you’ve by no means seen it, I positively would test it out. It’s wild. Benefit from the experience. 

Elsie: By the way in which, I might say I really like getting requests for the Consolation Rewatch episodes. It’s so enjoyable as a result of they’re all so completely different and individuals are very captivated with their picks. So anytime you are feeling within the temper, ship us a passionate request to 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 considered one 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 strains in an effort to help the opposite forged members in reacting extra naturally to Ferrell’s, seemingly non-sequitur strains. So, yeah, he has quite a lot of components all through the film the place he’s like, Hey, like that, you recognize, to the, yeah, to the sky or no matter.

Emma: I used to be curious if they’d somebody off digital camera saying the strains and everybody’s listening to them. However yeah, that is truly actually attention-grabbing that they went by way of the difficulty of solely Will can hear the strains and everybody round him is simply reacting to him solely. In order that’s fairly attention-grabbing truly. Okay, the following one is the film Harold sees within the theater after he’s instructed to stay 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 sort of simply blowing off work or no matter and simply residing life, in order that’s sort of cute that’s what the film is that he’s watching. You’ll be able to inform it’s an previous 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 fact is all the time unusual, stranger than fiction. If it might be instructed, how a lot would novels achieve by the change, how otherwise the world would males behold. I all the time puzzled 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 totally completely different quote, or is it from sort 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 all the time thought it meant there are stranger issues or you recognize, stranger issues on the market, no matter. 

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

Emma: Yeah, it’s title for this film too. Good decide. The novel that Karen Eiffel is writing that Will Ferrell’s characters is named Dying and Taxes, and it is a reference to the well-known quote. On this world, nothing could be mentioned to make sure besides Dying and Taxes, which was written by Benjamin Franklin in an previous 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 assume it’s only a miserable, humorous joke, no matter. However yeah, I believe Dying and Taxes, it’s not a novel that I might decide up. So I’m glad it was pretend, however I don’t know, I assume I liked within the film how Professor Hilbert’s character thinks that she’s like such a genius although. That made me extra and I sort 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 all the time killing a personality like a beloved character on the finish of each e-book. Anyway, I’m glad it’s known as Stranger Than Fiction and Not Dying and Taxes. 

Emma: I might’ve favored it both approach. Okay. One other trivia is that Emma Thompson wore no make-up on this film. Which I believe is fairly attention-grabbing. She has nice pores and skin truly.

Elsie: I believed she seems nice. That’s what I used to be considering too. That is bizarre, however you know the way in Love Truly, she’s alleged to be Hugh Grant’s sister, I believed 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 appropriate place, the not the appropriate time, and never the appropriate place. 

Emma: Yeah, I assume I see that. Yeah. I additionally suppose it’s simply sort of a daring alternative. I assume it was her alternative, or no less than clearly she went together with it. Loved if another person was making the selection, she was clearly on board.

Elsie: It matches her character very properly. 

Emma: It does, it very a lot matches her character. I additionally suppose it’s simply daring to be like, I’m gonna be in a serious 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 adjustments 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 by way of which Harold seems 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 find it irresistible. Okay, talking of watches, how would you charge this film from zero to 5 wristwatches? 

Elsie: Undoubtedly a 5. I imply, there’s nothing unhealthy about it. There’s all the pieces good. I believed it held up. I assume I sort of was fearful that I might’ve thought it was higher again within the day after which watched it now and been like, uh, you recognize. However I nonetheless actually loved it. I imply, I cried 3 times.

Emma: I really 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 find it irresistible. However I’ll say, I do suppose the truth that they’re sort of gonna let Harold die as a result of they suppose the ending of her e-book is so good, is a bit of bit unbelievable, however then they take it again. Nevertheless it’s just a bit bit unbelievable. To me, it’s like it is a rom-com. Not all the pieces needs to be like good 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 sort of believed that half.

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

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

Nova: A joke. 

Elsie: Okay. I’m prepared. 

Nova: What does pumpkin eat? 

Elsie: What? 

Nova: Pumpkin pie. 

Elsie: Oh, that’s one. We hope you loved this episode. Please proceed to ship us your entire requests. We have now been maintaining a log of them. We do about one a month, in order that’s like 12 a yr. So possibly we’ll get to yours this decade. 

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

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