One only has to imagine a situation like the following to grasp the idea of the type of entertainment Reality TV has to offer:
Figure this: An introvert is stuck in a room with an extrovert. Will the extrovert get bored with the introvert's lack of conversation and boring demeanor and ultimately snap? Will the introvert become even more introverted - will he break out of his shell and surprise us all? Watch and see. Anything could happen.
Now watch and wait to see what happens, when a simple man's boring and routinary life is invaded by a narrating voice, resounding and depicting his life - as he goes on and lives it - inside his head.
It would be unreal - and incredible to watch. What an original idea.
Stranger than Fiction is like a reality show to me - only it's a movie. Other than the obvious differences between the two things, therein lies an important similarity: this movie, much like a reality show, showcases an average person, who is thrust into extreme situations - which makes us, as viewers, wait for the "what will happen next?" factor.
While all movies have cliffhangers and plot twists - Stranger than Fiction was different for me - it caused the "Reality Television - Feeling" to surface, basically because I couldn't look away. As tired as I was of the film at times, I seriously couldn't look away. Unlike normal films, where I'm following a standard plot, with a beginning, middle and end...when I watched Stranger than Fiction, I felt as if I was watching a reality show - just waiting to see what situation Harold Crick was going to be put in next. I wasn't able to guess the impending outcome, or even possibilities for multiple outcomes - during any point in the movie.
This factor, this sole factor, made this movie special to me. The fact that I was bored at times, yet I couldn't stop watching and the fact that I had no idea what came next - brought in me the same feelings I have gotten whilst watching 'American Idol' or 'Survivor', where participants are put in impossible situations and one has absolutely no idea where, what, or when anything is going to happen.
The simple man is Harold Crick - an IRS AGENT and math whiz, whose boring life denotes everything he stands for...order, precision, and certitude. His best friend, and most useful part of his life - is his wristwatch. It exemplifies his attitude towards life, it re-inforces a timely order during the passing day - keeping Harold on a rigid and safe schedule from dawnn till dusk.
The narrator, Karen Eiffel, is an author with writer's block, who needs to find the perfect ending for her main character - Harold Crick. She enters his life as the narrating voice, which sends Harold's whole life into a funk.
The whole movie is a meditation on life and all it encompasses. It's