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 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 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 all places
  • Not quite a lot of furnishings

Ana’s Bakery (The Rebellion):

  • Eclectic and messy cute
  • Industrial and really open

Ana’s Condo:

  • Thrift store, boho, and comfortable
  • 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 Lovely 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 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 making an attempt to try this somewhat extra to present 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 type of shocked by the clips I confirmed.

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

Elsie: Yeah, I believe it’s gone somewhat bit beneath 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 trying 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 not 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 somewhat imply, however in the future this all modifications when Harold begins to listen to an writer in his head narrating his life, the narrator is very 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 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 college and it was like a type of buddies the place we might at all times sit by one another on this one philosophy class, and we might at all times share notes and we have 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 type 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 one way or the other that type of stands proud 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. It’s best to have seen it with that good friend as a result of he was superior. However anyway. So quite a lot of occasions once we do consolation re-watches, we do love the films. We do at all times love the films, but additionally quite a lot of occasions we’re type 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 type of constructed round being literary, it’s like speculated to be about an writer who’s writing a ebook, and it seems that character is actual. And so, it’s very a lot doing quite a lot of literary tropes and making an attempt to be type of witty with these kinds 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 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 type of jogs my memory of all the nice books I’ve learn on the similar time. But it surely’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 while 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 stated, 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 type of have a crush on him. And I did a survey on Instagram and the vast majority of individuals additionally expertise some type of crush. So I believe it’s cute 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 to be 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 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 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 loads along with her shaky, shaky arms with the cigarettes all through it, however yeah, she was very cool. She positively performed the kind of pretentious writer, very properly. I type 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, 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 type of have this kind of preventing 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 can assist 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 believe it’s kind 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 type 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 somewhat little bit of a personality like his watch is nearly somewhat bit sentient and causes issues to occur, which is kind of one thing that like will get narrated and it feels very literary and it’s simply type of wacky. I additionally really feel like this film does such an incredible job of like, serving to you. We have 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 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 incredible job of exhibiting you a number of the ridiculousness of like, good ebook issues that should you put them right into a film, it’s type of like, what? And it’s enjoyable. It’s like enjoyable. I believe it’s meant to be, , it’s a romantic comedy, that’s what this film is, and so it’s very fulfilling in that means.

Elsie: Okay, so on my tally of what number of occasions 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 type 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, nevertheless it positively had some crying alternatives all through. 

Emma: I at all times, this might need some spoilers, heads up everybody, however this film’s been out since we stated 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 type 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 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 music. But it surely’s somewhat tiny bit awkward and it makes it type of susceptible and actually particular. And he or she is seeing him enjoying this music and it’s simply actually cute. After which she like goes as much as him to present him a kiss and him enjoying and singing cuts out they usually carry 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 every of my favourite scenes in a rom-com. It’s so candy and attractive 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 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 each time I used to be relationship 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 appear like little baggage of flowers, and so we have 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 while 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 de facto cute. Yeah, I adore it. 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 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 kind 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 believe that the IRS is in North Carolina. Am I improper?

Emma: I believe there are a number of IRS places, and I consider 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 stated that. Okay, so the remainder of his workplace, it’s like flooring to ceiling bookshelves they usually’re stuffed like the comfy means the place you consider that there’s like somewhat 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 to be 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 writer 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 preferred the nostalgic feeling when he’s like in his lifeguard’s chair. I really feel like that kind of indoor pool is an enormous a part of my childhood. After which the opposite house that I actually like Anna’s Bakery and Anna’s house. So her bakery is type of identical to a daily 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 type of round. So it’s like actually cute in there and feels eclectic and messy cute, nevertheless it additionally seems to be somewhat industrial and really open so far as half the kitchen’s not less than open. 

Elsie: And her house could be very like a thrift store girl boho, cozy. It’s very eclectic, I believe that might 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 house for somebody who’s of their twenties or thirties, a small single lady’s house ought to appear like. It simply seems to be 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 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 positively gorgeous and in additional of a seventies means, like very vibey.

Emma: Yeah. It’s type of seventies boho feeling like this kind of hanging issues. So possibly we also needs to point out Harold’s house in Karen’s workplace. Karen is the writer who’s writing the ebook that Harold’s in. So Harold’s house 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 resort room that no one lives in that simply bought cleaned, it’s extraordinarily plain, extraordinarily bland. It doesn’t appear like somebody really lives there, as a result of they’re making an attempt to drive dwelling that like Harold doesn’t actually dwell. As a result of on this film that’s kind of what the film’s about is he’s discovering his life and residing it. So that they’re telling a narrative by the set and as such it’s not a really inspiring place. And about midway by 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 his window they usually kind of have been like, okay, so the plot strikes with out you. So it will get kind of destroyed, which is type of humorous, it’s a really humorous second. However I type of needed 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 among his traces 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 house. Even just like the meals they’re consuming at dinner the place it seems to be like Star Trek.

Elsie: It’s probably the most like pod sleeping like Star Trek trying house 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, nevertheless it’s simply type 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 despair 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 in all places. And that’s kind 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 can be nowhere for them to take a seat. So it’s only a very empty, nevertheless it’s type of fairly, it’s very like black and white and fashionable trying. 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 type of going by this author’s block factor. They talked about too all through the film that she hasn’t been seen in 10 years, she’s type of a recluse. So I believe possibly she’s going by some issues in her life lets say. I don’t know. I don’t actually wanna say despair as a result of I don’t actually know if that’s what the character’s going by. 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 believe they stunning clearly talk that she’s like going by struggles, and like some type of psychological well being struggles and it’s unhappy to observe, but additionally inspiring in some components. 

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 type of like they’re making an attempt to assist her and it actually jogs my memory a lot of once I’m going by 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, , and that’s type 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, , 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 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 listing 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 every of Stranger Than Fiction. 

Emma: I adore it. But it surely’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 journey. 

Elsie: By the best way, I’d say I really like getting requests for the Consolation Rewatch episodes. It’s so enjoyable as a result of they’re all so totally different and persons are very enthusiastic about their picks. So anytime you’re feeling within the temper, ship us a passionate request to your favourite film, and we actually most likely will get to it as a result of I believe we’ll be doing this section 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 to be able to help the opposite forged members in reacting extra naturally to Ferrell’s, seemingly non-sequitur traces. So, yeah, he has quite a lot of components all through the film the place he’s like, Hey, like that, , 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 really actually fascinating that they went by 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 dwell 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 type of simply blowing off work or no matter and simply residing life, in order that’s type 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 at all times unusual, stranger than fiction. If it may very well be advised, how a lot would novels acquire by the alternate, how in a different 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, nevertheless it’s prefer it’s from a totally totally different quote, or is it from type of the identical quote?

Emma: I believe they’re from totally 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 , 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 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 stated 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’d 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 type 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 at all times killing a personality like a beloved character on the finish of each ebook. Anyway, I’m glad it’s referred to as Stranger Than Fiction and Not Dying 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 really.

Elsie: I assumed she seems to be nice. That’s what I used to be pondering too. That is bizarre, however you know the way in Love Truly, she’s speculated to be Hugh Grant’s sister, I assumed on this film she appeared 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 precise place, the not the precise time, and never the precise place. 

Emma: Yeah, I assume I see that. Yeah. I additionally suppose it’s simply type of a daring selection. I assume it was her selection, or not 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 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 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 which Harold seems to be 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 price 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 assumed it held up. I assume I type of was apprehensive that I’d’ve thought it was higher again within the day after which watched it now and been like, uh, . 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 adore it. However I’ll say, I do suppose the truth that they’re type of gonna let Harold die as a result of they suppose the ending of her ebook is so good, is somewhat bit unbelievable, however then they take it again. But it surely’s just a bit bit unbelievable. To me, it’s like it is a rom-com. Not all the pieces 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 type of believed that half.

Emma: Yeah, I assumed the unhappy ending was superior to letting him dwell. I imply, her ebook was referred to as Dying and Taxes, after which she doesn’t kill him, nevertheless 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 , 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 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 could have 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 a very good one. We hope you loved this episode. Please proceed to ship us all your requests. We’ve got been holding 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, hold ’em coming. 

Elsie: We’ll hold 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 utterly scratch.