Stranger Than Fiction


Rating 3

Directed by Eric Bross

Written by Tim Garrick and Scott Russell

Dina Meyer, MacKenzie Astin, Natasha Gregson Wagner, Todd Field and Frances Bay

There are all sorts of things wrong with this film (which shouldn’t be confused with the later Will Ferrell film of the same name), but I really enjoyed watching it.

Four friends in Salt Lake City find themselves in an increasingly surreal nightmare scenario when one of them commits murder and the others agree to help to dispose of the body.

For three-quarters of its running length the film is played as a black comedy. The various twists and turns are not especially original and the script is perhaps a little too obvious, but the four leads work well together and make the most of the material.

The sudden change in tempo in the final quarter when the film moves to a new location and the black comedy is discarded in favour of a rather nasty conclusion is somewhat jarring. However, what lets the film down most are the weak bookend scenes that seem to have been borrowed from an episode of ‘Murder She Wrote’ and the director’s annoying insistence on marking scene changes by fading the picture out and in using a decidedly tacky looking colour-negative effect.

These faults aside, this is a very watchable film. I can happily sit down and take 100 minutes out of my time to watch it, something I can’t honestly say about a great many of the films that are clearly of greater “artistic” merit. Not everyone would agree, of course.

“It doesn’t help that the cast deliver mediocre performances. Natasha Gregson Wagner is worse than that, as her acting simply isn’t credible.”
Brian Webster, Apollo Guide: Intelligent Reviews Online


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