Friday, July 28, 2006

When You're A Stranger

The trailer for Stranger Than Fiction is pretty good.

I read the script and it's funny and clever. The ending is a letdown, as it's not quite clever enough to measure up.

The thing about this trailer, though, is that it seems to give away nearly every surprise about the movie. (Spoiler alert for anyone not planning to watch the trailer:) In the script, Harold (Will Ferrell) starts hearing a voice and the source remains mysterious for quite some time. It's not until much later that he (and we) learn that he's a character in a book, let alone that the author plans to kill him, let alone who the author is and that they live in the same reality. But the trailer starts with Emma Thompson as the frazzled author and proceeds to lay everything out from there. What's left? The mystery is a huge part of the movie.

Well, there's the subplot with Maggie Gyllenhaal (barely seen in the trailer) in which Will Ferrell learns to embrace life--in a way, the heart of the story. And then there's the question of just how Emma Thompson plans to kill him and how he will escape his fate--the one part I found disappointing in the script.

I guess it's hard to sell a movie by saying: "There's a guy, and he hears a voice narrating his life--you'll just have to watch it." But it's kind of sad to see a movie with so many surprises give so many away up front.


matt said...

During an episode of "Lost" ABC ran like a four-minute preview for the upcoming season of "Invasion" that left me feeling like I had watched the entire season. I don't understand this approach either.

The Star Wars III trailer did the same thing. It was a 90-second version of the entire movie.

Steve F said...

I recently watched Terminator 2 with Elicia, who hadn't seen it and didn't know anything about it, except that we had watched Terminator the week before.

Until the scene in the mall, she thought Arnold was trying to kill John Conners. It's clear that the movie is designed this way. The fact that he's there to protect him is supposed to be a surprise.

Of course, none of us who saw it in theaters had that experience, because they started the trailer by saying, "Two terminators were sent back. One good, one evil."

Simon said...

The terminator thing always bugs me because I remember knowing Arnie was good before the movie too.

And I've heard from the one or two people in this world who didn't already know it that it was like an awesome reveal in the movie for them. It's still an awesome film but I keep thinking it would've been awesomer if I hadn't known about that ahead of time.