Monday, May 20, 2024

Episode #186: Stranger Than Fiction – Consolation Rewatch


This week, we’re discussing one in all 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 House:

  • Looks 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 numerous furnishings

Ana’s Bakery (The Rebellion):

  • Eclectic and messy cute
  • Industrial and really open

Ana’s House:

  • Thrift store, boho, and comfy
  • 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

Charge 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 pay attention. This week we’re discussing one in all 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 making an attempt to do this a little bit extra to offer 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 stunned by the clips I confirmed.

Emma: I do really feel like that is much less recognized of all of the consolation rewatch we’ve performed thus far. That is a lot much less recognized than something we’ve performed thus far, I feel. 

Elsie: Yeah, I feel it’s gone a little bit bit below the radar additionally it’s 2006 is a fairly 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 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. Effectively, that’s a little bit imply, however at some point 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 beloved 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 bear in mind I noticed a pal of mine from college and it was like a kind of buddies the place we might all the time sit by one another on this one philosophy class, and we’d all the time share notes and we had been buddies for positive, however we by no means frolicked outdoors 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 buddies. 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 in some way that sort of stands out in my thoughts so far as issues I bear in mind from first seeing this film. And I don’t bear in mind who I noticed this with, who is aware of. It is best to have seen it with that pal as a result of he was superior. However anyway. So numerous instances once we do consolation re-watches, we do love the flicks. We do all the time love the flicks, but in addition numerous instances we’re sort of speaking concerning the inside design and the vibes, and we’re gonna speak about that for positive. However for me, this film was extra about the way it’s sort of constructed round being literary, it’s like presupposed to be about an creator who’s writing a ebook, and it seems that character is actual. And so, it’s very a lot doing numerous literary tropes and making an attempt to be sort of witty with these kinds of issues. And I simply beloved it. I really like studying and so I really like all of the scenes the place he’s like with the professor making an attempt to determine what sort of ebook he’s in. Like they’re making an attempt 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 nice 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 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 bear in mind the primary time you noticed it? 

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

So it was a film that I actually beloved and I assume the factor I most bear 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 feel 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 nearly all of individuals additionally expertise some sort of crush. So I feel it’s lovable 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 feel she seems so cute. Additionally, have a factor for Dustin Hoffman and his character’s actually cool and simply looks as if somebody you’d wanna hang around with on this film, his workplace it, as soon as we get into it, his workplace is for positive 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 must also 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 lots together with her shaky, shaky palms with the cigarettes all through it, however yeah, she was very cool. She positively performed the type of pretentious creator, very effectively. I sort of do have numerous love for her as effectively, like so many good motion pictures. 

Emma: I do too. And oddly sufficient too, could 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 ebook, 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 presupposed to be an individual who likes that will help you end your ebook. 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 assumed it aged very well, there was nothing about it the place I used to be like that aged horribly. I feel 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 seen there are hardly any cell telephones within the film, and that positively modified within the coming 10 years, it was like, if you happen to 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 positive.

Emma: Yeah, and on this film, really his watch is a little bit little bit of a personality like his watch is sort of a little bit 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 amazing 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 ebook and also you’re like, I really like this as a ebook, and I actually hope they don’t make it right into a film. And I really feel like this does such an amazing job of exhibiting you a few of the ridiculousness of like, good ebook issues that if you happen to put them right into a film, it’s sort of like, what? And it’s enjoyable. It’s like enjoyable. I feel it’s meant to be, you recognize, it’s a romantic comedy, that’s what this film is, and so it’s very pleasant in that method.

Elsie: Okay, so on my tally of what number of instances I cried, it’s my shifting week and that is part of it, however I cried thrice. I really feel prefer it actually solely ought to have been one, however it’s sort of a candy film and I cried lots on the finish. So yeah, I feel I’m simply within the feels-good-to-cry second proper now, but it surely 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 taking part in 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 music. 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 find out how to play and he actually is aware of find out how to sing. It felt like an actual one who was doing job taking part in this music. Nevertheless it’s a little bit tiny bit awkward and it makes it sort of weak and actually particular. And he or she is seeing him taking part in this music and it’s simply actually cute. After which she like goes as much as him to offer him a kiss and him taking part in and singing cuts out and so they convey up within the soundtrack the actual music with the total band after which they’re like making out, and it’s actually cute. It’s simply one in all 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 initially of the date the place he brings her flowers, she’s a baker and he brings her all these various kinds of flowers. And at any time when 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 identical to, I bear in mind whenever you purchased me flowers. It’s identical to this candy little factor in a film that I simply love as a result of I really 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 basically cute. Yeah, I find it irresistible. 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 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 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 looking at these stunning views of some faculty campus. I don’t know what it’s. I feel that the IRS is in North Carolina. Am I unsuitable?

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

Elsie: Yeah, you’re proper, there are numerous 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 comfortable method the place you consider that there’s like a little bit TV stuffed in there. You consider that it’s like his actual books, like there’s a strategy to make a bookshelf look actual and there’s a strategy 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 may very well 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 appreciated 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 residence. So her bakery is sort of identical to a daily New York bakery, it’s stunning. It’s cute.

Emma: They make it look very cramped. Like you possibly can 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, but it surely additionally seems a little bit industrial and really open so far as half the kitchen’s at the least open. 

Elsie: And her residence may be very like a thrift store girl boho, cozy. It’s very eclectic, I feel that may positively be the proper 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 residence for somebody who’s of their twenties or thirties, a small single girl’s residence ought to seem like. It simply seems cozy. Yeah, if you happen to do watch it after, then positively be careful for like the sunshine fixture in her, like a buffer eating room desk I assumed 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 bear in mind pondering it’s not one thing that I might put in my home. It’s not the appropriate period, however it’s positively beautiful and in additional of a seventies method, like very vibey.

Emma: Yeah. It’s sort 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 creator who’s writing the ebook that Harold’s in. So Harold’s residence I really feel like they’re simply making an attempt 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 seem like somebody really lives there, as a result of they’re making an attempt to drive house that like Harold doesn’t actually reside. As a result of on this film that’s type of what the film’s about is he’s discovering his life and dwelling it. In order that they’re telling a narrative by means of the set and as such it’s not a really inspiring place. And about midway by means 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 means 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 pal from the IRS, goes to stick with him, and he mentions desirous to go to house camp. One in every of his traces within the film is like, you’re by no means too outdated for house camp, dude. He’s into house, and if you happen to like discover there are many particulars in his residence. Even just like the meals they’re consuming at dinner the place it seems like Star Trek.

Elsie: It’s essentially the most like pod sleeping like Star Trek wanting residence 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, but it surely’s simply sort of fascinating. After which Karen’s workplace, much 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 numerous cigarettes all over the place. And that’s type of your entire 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, but it surely’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 means 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 feel perhaps she’s going by means 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 means of. However she’s clearly bordered herself away and feels very caught in her work and is making an attempt to determine that out.

Elsie: Yeah, I feel they beautiful clearly talk that she’s like going by means of struggles, and like some sort of psychological well being struggles and it’s unhappy to look at, but in addition inspiring in some components. 

Emma: Yeah, and I feel too, like Queen Latifah’s character, the assistant, I really feel like her identify’s Penny, however I can’t bear in mind now. However she is sort of like they’re making an attempt to assist her and it truthfully jogs my memory a lot of after I’m going by means of like a downtime typically I’m like, no, I don’t wanna go on a stroll. No, I don’t wanna name my pal. 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 mainly making an attempt 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 feel 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, if you happen to’re on the fence, positively give it a watch. It’s on our record of favourite motion pictures, so it needs to be good. You recognize in my film room, I’ve all these posters, I even have one in all Stranger Than Fiction. 

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

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 persons 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 feel we’ll be doing this phase for a number of years, it’s like one in all 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 with a view to help the opposite solid members in reacting extra naturally to Ferrell’s, seemingly non-sequitur traces. So, yeah, he has numerous 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 traces and everybody’s listening to them. However yeah, that is really actually fascinating that they went by means of 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 really. Okay, the subsequent one is the film Harold sees within the theater after he’s instructed to reside his life is Monty Python’s, the That 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 dwelling life, in order that’s sort 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 all the time unusual, stranger than fiction. If it may very well be advised, how a lot would novels acquire by the alternate, 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, but it surely’s prefer it’s from a very completely different quote, or is it from sort of the identical quote?

Emma: I feel 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 identify for this film too. Good choose. The novel that Karen Eiffel is writing that Will Ferrell’s characters is named Demise and Taxes, and this can be a reference to the well-known quote. On this world, nothing will be mentioned to make certain besides Demise 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 assume it’s only a miserable, humorous joke, no matter. However yeah, I feel Demise and Taxes, it’s not a novel that I might choose up. So I’m glad it was pretend, however I don’t know, I assume I beloved 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 ebook and I want that we knew extra of them as a result of that’s what she’s recognized for as like all the time killing a personality like a beloved character on the finish of each ebook. Anyway, I’m glad it’s known as Stranger Than Fiction and Not Demise and Taxes. 

Emma: I might’ve appreciated it both method. Okay. One other trivia is that Emma Thompson wore no make-up on this film. Which I feel is fairly fascinating. She has nice pores and skin really.

Elsie: I assumed she seems nice. That’s what I used to be pondering too. That is bizarre, however you understand how in Love Truly, she’s presupposed to be Hugh Grant’s sister, I assumed on this film she seemed extra like she may very well be his sister. I don’t know if it was like her haircut, I simply was like, I might 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 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 matches her character very effectively. 

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 by which Harold sits on the bench outdoors Anna’s bakery. There’s a big spherical window on the wall that resembles a watch by means 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 price this film from zero to 5 wristwatches? 

Elsie: Positively a 5. I imply, there’s nothing unhealthy about it. There’s every part good. I assumed it held up. I assume I sort of was frightened 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 thrice.

Emma: I really like this film. Apart from Knives Out, that is most likely my different favourite film as a result of I simply take pleasure in 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 ebook is so good, is a little bit bit unbelievable, however then they take it again. Nevertheless it’s just a bit bit unbelievable. To me, it’s like this can be a rom-com. Not every part 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 sort of believed that half.

Emma: Yeah, I assumed the unhappy ending was superior to letting him reside. I imply, her ebook was known as Demise and Taxes, after which she doesn’t kill him, but it surely’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 way in which she writes and what she cares about. So you recognize, we’ve two protagonists on this film in a method. 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 reality with Nova. Hey Nova, do you might 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 one. We hope you loved this episode. Please proceed to ship us your entire requests. We have now been protecting a log of them. We do about one a month, in order that’s like 12 a yr. 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 e-mail us anytime at Subsequent week we’re speaking about what it was like furnishing my new home from utterly scratch.


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