Stranger Than Fiction is one of my favorite films of all time. In fact, I’d even go so far as to say it’s tied for first with Amelie, Beverly Hills Cop, and Casablanca. I’m being serious. So if you say that you don’t like this movie, I’m not sure we can be friends. My point? It’s great if you have an opinion and all, but if it ain’t in support of this movie…keep it to yourself.
Why am I willing to risk the possibility of our could-be amazing friendship for the sake of a movie? Because Stranger Than Fiction is an incredibly perfect combination of several things about which I am passionate: sassy Maggie Gyllenhaal, serious Will Ferrell, eccentric writers, delightful motion graphics, and baked goods.
Stranger Than Fiction is more about the line between the real world and the fictional one, and what happens when the two merge together than food, but that’s not to say it doesn’t appreciate the culinary arts. The film follows Will Ferrell as a morose IRS official who one day realizes that his life is being narrated by a mysterious voice ( Emma Thompson) who seems to know everything about him. I won’t give any more away because I think part of the joy of this film is unraveling it, but I can promise you that it will be a rewarding experience. The scene that I’ve included at the top of this post is one of my favorites, and I credit it with being one of the earliest influences of my writing style and my desire to have a bakery. And to love all Gyllenhaals.
Click on the names of these films if Stranger Than Fiction doesn’t do it for you…
Jiro Dreams of Sushi- beautiful, inspiring documentary about a Michelin 3-star rated, 85 year old sushi chef (available for streaming on Netflix!)
Kings of Pastry – documentary about competitive pastry chefs, food porn to the max (available for streaming on Netflix!)
Ratatouille - a Pixar film featuring a rat who becomes a gourmet chef; this film won the Academy Award for Best Animated feature and has a great soundtrack to boot
Big Night - the brainchild of actor and gourmet foodie Stanley Tucci, this film tells the story of two brothers struggling to save their Italian restaurant
Waitress – a heartfelt story about a pregnant waitress with a powerful penchant for pies and creative names
Pressure Cooker- inner city kids compete in this documentary for culinary scholarships that could change their lives (available for streaming on Netflix!)
Romantics Anonymous - two hopeless romantics unexpectedly fall in love while working in a chocolate factory in this lovely French film (available for streaming on Netflix!)