Stranger than Fiction is largely based on the theme of narrative; the overarching idea for the movie itself is that Eiffel’s story is Crick’s life. While initially viewing this film, I thought that this movie was what Paul Ricoeur defines as being a “configurational narrative”, meaning that the plot line was non-chronological, leaving the viewers to instead find significance from scattered events. I first thought this because of the way the scenes were cut and the way the movie jumped rather abruptly from one plot line to another. However, after having watched the movie one full time through, I was able to better identify it with Ricoeur’s “episodic narrative”, in which a narrative is told in chronological order, one episode at a time (in this case, one scene at a time). The character of Harold Crick continues to develop as the story goes on, embodying Neil Postman’s idea that personal narrative is necessary for an individual’s development and for finding purpose in one’s life. As Crick’s own personal narrative unfolds, he seeks out purpose in his own life and creates connections where before he had none.
While watching this film, I noticed many parallels between this Crick’s story and Truman from The Truman Show”. Both men were unaware that their lives were being dictated by an unseen force: Eiffel for Crick, and Kristoff for Truman. Both men raised suspicions that this was the case as their lives progressed before having to go out of their ways to discover that their suspicions were, in fact, true. Finally, both men sought to have more purpose and meaning in their lives after discovering what they did about themselves. Both films raised questions in my mind about how we ourselves can determine what events make up our own personal narratives, and what it takes for us to seek more meaningful lives.