Favorite movie: Braveheart. It's just mandatory, since the Scot is the only part of my mongrel heritage I'll claim.
Real favorite movie, though: Groundhog Day.
Groundhog Day is the perfect movie. It takes a really messed up guy, and puts him in hell. It tantalizes him with hopes of heaven, then pulls the rug out from under him again and again. He changes focus and objectives again and again, to no avail. He still ends up on his butt repeatedly. Then finally he finds life and joy, and even salvation, in caring for people who can never care for him.
It's just too perfect.
Stranger than Fiction may not be quite that good, but it's in the same arena, and I loved it. I think I even liked it better than Groundhog Day. Groundhog Day had one Sisyphean tragic character. Stranger than Fiction has no fewer than four. Will Ferrell and Emma Thompson both reduced me to laughter and fetal huddling in the space single scenes, but Dustin Hoffman's character and the love interest have moments too. (My son pointed out that it was the first movie in which I liked Will Ferrell. Yep.)
The fifth character is literature. Lit is not personified, or anything silly like that, but it's always on the screen, and it pushes the plot forward. As I am making my first forays into literature, this made the movie that much more significant for me. It asks what I think are important questions about literature, and reaches conclusions that I found really satisfying.
Now, unless I'm mistaken, I have not even given away whether or not the movie has a plot. It does. But, I'm not going to tell you anything about it. I think the movie should probably be seen twice, once with no clue what it's about, and again to appreciate how it gets there. If I go again, I will probably wait until I don't have to spend full price because of the whole Scottish thing, but I'm glad I dragged the kids there last night.
If I go again, though, at least I won't have to worry so much about embarassing them with my constant over-reactions. :-(