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Harold Crick: Hero amongst taxmen

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By Kelly LeVan

“Stranger Than Fiction,” playing this week at Mesa Public Library, is one of my favorite movies. How can I review it? I gave up any objectivity very early in the film, about the time Harold Crick’s wristwatch had an opinion about the single Windsor knot in Harold’s necktie.

The wristwatch is funny, but Harold, played by Will Ferrell, or possibly his secret, stoic twin brother, is not.

Harold lives a highly organized life, with the kind of devotion to routine you might see in a scientific study. Everything is accurate, foreseeable and well managed. Every step, toothbrush stroke and dirty dish is counted and marked off on a mental checklist. He’s a human Blackberry, but without the need for an address book.

Obviously, a man like Harold doesn’t have a lot of friends.

And it doesn’t help that he works for the IRS.

Anyhow, when you, as a screenwriter, have a character like Harold, you have to introduce him to someone like Ana Pascal (Maggie Gyllenhaal), a rebellious baker with a sweet tooth but a sharp tongue.

If Harold is a Blackberry, she is a blackberry muffin. Her audit marks one of several inaccurate, unforeseeable and terribly managed events that begin to take over Harold’s life.


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