A fun, whimsical tale about an office drone trying to save his life from his narrator, Stranger Than Fiction features a subdued performances from Will Ferrell that contributes mightily to its quirky, mind-bending affect.
The actors and the filmmakers all take a more restrained approach than you might expect, keeping the humor gentle, and the jokes mostly as literary as the premise.
Intriguing possibilities, except Helm and Forster aren't quite Kaufman and Jonze. Once their parallel narratives converge, those hoping for a mind-bending meta-pile-up may feel the movie lacks the courage of its fatalistic fiction.
It doesn't coast on its premise but follows where it leads, which is into some serious territory. What might have been a joke with a tagged-on sentimental ending becomes instead a sensitive movie that affirms the value of life.