Stranger Than Fiction

  • 1999
  • Movie
  • R
  • Comedy, Crime, Drama

If this shaggy dog story had stuck to its droll guns, it might have emerged as a minor mordant classic on the order of Alfred Hitchcock's THE TROUBLE WITH HARRY (1965). But director Eric Bross and screenwriters Tim Garrick and Scott Russell betray the audience's goodwill by overtaxing a slight anecdote with more bloody violence and psychological heft than...read more

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Reviewed by Robert Pardi
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If this shaggy dog story had stuck to its droll guns, it might have emerged as a minor mordant classic on the order of Alfred Hitchcock's THE TROUBLE WITH HARRY (1965). But director Eric Bross and screenwriters Tim Garrick and Scott Russell betray the audience's goodwill by overtaxing a slight anecdote with more bloody violence and psychological heft than it can handle. At a Salt Lake City bar, Violet (Natasha Gregson Wagner), Austin (Todd Field) and Emma (Dina Meyer) toast their friend Jarod (Mackenzie Astin), who's just been hired by a prestigious law firm in Washington DC. Later that evening, a frightened Jarod begs for their help in disposing of a nude male corpse in his apartment. Focussed on salvaging Jarod's reputation, they immediately come to his aid; what they don't realize is that the dead man was a narcotics cop. En route to a nearby foundry, where they plan to burn the body, the quartet runs over a homeless man. After attending a wedding ceremony the next morning, they receive good and bad news: The hobo is alive, but Violet's car has been towed and examined. Bubba (Joe Unger), the curious mechanic who towed the vehicle, tries to extort money from the friends, so Jarod clobbers him. Will anyone else die before Bubba and the narc can be incinerated? Sprinkled with clever observations and smartly acted, this black comedy starts out as an antic guide to cleaning up after a crime. Unfortunately, it degenerates into a dubiously tangled expose of crisscrossing loyalties and the change in tone is awkward, though delicious wickedness continues to pop up along the way.

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  • Released: 1999
  • Rating: R
  • Review: If this shaggy dog story had stuck to its droll guns, it might have emerged as a minor mordant classic on the order of Alfred Hitchcock's THE TROUBLE WITH HARRY (1965). But director Eric Bross and screenwriters Tim Garrick and Scott Russell betray the audi… (more)

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