Tuesday, 14 August 2007

Stranger than Fiction

Recently saw the film "Stranger than Fiction". In summary, the plot concerns a revenue inspector, Harold Crick (played by Will Ferrell), the course of whose life is being dictated by author Karen Eiffel (Emma Thompson). The scene which took my fancy concerns Crick having to visit a baker, Ana (Maggie Gyllenhaal) over her failure to deal with her tax return. The scene goes as follows:

Ana takes a plate and goes to get Harold some cookies

Harold: When did you decide to become a baker?

Ana: Oh. In College

Harold: Oh. Like, "cooking college"

Ana: No I went to Havard Law

Harold: Oh. Oh Geez, I........ sorry, I just a............... Sorry

Ana: No. It's alright. I didn't finish. I uh....... uh.......

She brings a plate with more cookies to Harold.

Harold: Did something happen?

Ana: Not really. I was.... I was barely accepted. I mean, barely. The only reason they let me in was because of my essay. How I was going to make the world a better place with my degree. And I went there thinking.... well, I went there thinking that I might make a difference and uh ...... well ......... Harvard Law has the smartest people in the world, people who will one day shape the earth, and it's competitive and vicious and exhausting....... And I'd have to participate in these study sessions, classmates and I, all night long. Sometimes for a couple of days straight.

And so I would bake.... cookies usually....... so no one would go hungry while we worked. I'd bake all afternoon in the kitchen in the dorm before a big study session and write down what I was doing in one of those black Mead Journals they sell by the gross in the Campus Bookstore. And I'd bring my little treats to the study groups........ and people loved them. Oatmeal Cookies. Peanut Butter Bars. Chocolate Chip and Macadamia Nut Wedges. And everyone would eat and stay happy and study harder and do better on the tests and more people would come to the study groups and the study groups got better and I would make more snacks and try to find better recipes and the results would get better and better and soon it was Cheese and Apricot Croissants and Mocha Bars with Almond Glaze and Lemon Chiffon Cakes with Zesty Peach Icing and our study groups were famous: not because we had the most copious notes or the smartest people, but because we had the best snacks........

And at the end of the spring term........ I had 27 study partners, eight black Mead journals filled with recipes and a D average. So I dropped out. I just figured, if I was gonna make the world a better place...........I'd do it with cookies.

I think this is a good philosophy for life and it's an engaging and enjoyable film.

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