I love books.
Like I really love books.
I love reading. The very act of reading.
I love the way the words form sentences then ideas and thoughts and pictures and characters and plots…
I love the feel of the book in my hand. The act of turning the pages. Creasing the corner when I have to close it.
There are very very many books that I get excited about reading. The kind of excited where the rest of my world gets put on pause until I can finish the story. Where I might go through the daily rituals and routines of life, all the while, thinking about when I’ll be able to pick up where I left off in the book. Or thinking about the world in the story I left.
There are very very many books that I am passionate about, but very few movies invoke that same level of emotion.
One that is very near and dear to my heart, that I will force upon any of my friends and family is:
Stranger Than Fiction
If you haven’t seen it, you must rent it immediately. I do warn you that it’s not for everyone. It’s a little dry and takes some thought. You will see Will Ferrell on the cover and automatically assume it’s an asinine comedy and do one of two things – either put it down because his comedies are sometimes mildly entertaining and other times completely ludicrous or pick it up because you assume it’s like every other of his ludicrous, mildly entertaining comedies.
DO NOT put it down, it is unlike any other movie he has ever done. I promise. It is not a comedy, although it has humor, and it’s not a tragedy, although you may cry. It is both. And a good movie should have both.
It’s a movie that makes me wish it were a book.
And I wish it were a book because the script is so well written and the characters are so deep. The plot is unlike anything I’ve ever watched or read. The cast is phenomenal, despite my dislike for Will Ferrell. It’s a movie about the act of creating a character, creating a plot.
How I wish that Karen Eiffel was a real author. I wish that the ironic books she writes were real so I could read them.
In the earlier post, I wrote about how a favorite scene from a favorite movie could tell about that person’s personality.
The very last scene, the hospital scene, Karen gives a monologue about daily occurrences and rituals that mean nothing at the time:
“Sometimes when we lose ourselves in fear and despair, in routine and constancy, in hopelessness and tragedy, we can thank God for Bavarian sugar cookies. And fortunately when there aren’t any cookies, we can still find reassurance in a familiar hand on our skin. Or a kind and loving gesture. Or a subtle encouragement. Or a loving embrace. Or an offer of comfort. Not to mention hospital gurneys. And nose plugs. An uneaten danish. And soft spoken secrets. And Fender-Scratocasters. And maybe an occasional piece of fiction. And we must remember that all these things, the nuances, the anomalies, the subtleties, which we assume only accessorize our day are, in fact, here for a much larger and nobler cause: They are here to save our lives. I know the idea seems strange. But I also know that it just so happens to be true. And so it was: A wrist watch that saved Harold Crick.”
Now, of course, if you haven’t seen the movie yet, it doesn’t make much sense to you.
But watch it, you won’t regret it. It’ll touch your heart, just like it did mine.
I’m not really sure what this scene says about me. Maybe that I take joy in the little things, or that I see good in the bad. I’m better at psychoanalyzing other people than myself. You tell me.