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Stranger than Fiction [2006] [PG-13] - 4.5.5



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Unlike the MPAA we do not assign one inscrutable rating based on age, but 3 objective ratings for SEX/NUDITY, VIOLENCE/GORE and PROFANITY on a scale of 0 to 10, from lowest to highest, depending on quantity and context.

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Sex & Nudity
Violence & Gore
1 to 10


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Will Ferrell stars as a painfully organized and lonely IRS auditor whose life changes one day when he begins to hear a woman's voice narrating his every move and every thought. He soon realizes that the voice belongs to an author and his life mirrors that of a character in her latest book. When he realizes that she plans to kill the character off, he becomes desperate to find her and convince her to spare him. Also with Maggie Gyllenhaal, Queen Latifah, Emma Thompson and Dustin Hoffman. Directed by Marc Forster. [1:53]

SEX/NUDITY 4 - A man and a woman kiss passionately, she climbs on his lap, they pull each other's clothes off (we see her bare shoulders and back), and they wake up in bed together (he lies bare-chested and we see her bare back and shoulders); it is implied that they have had sex.
 A woman wears a tight-fitting tank top that makes obvious the outline of her breasts, and a woman wears a low-cut top that reveals cleavage in several scenes. We see the bare buttocks and backs of several men in a locker room scene.
 A man and woman lie on a sofa together and the man caresses the woman's legs. A man and woman lie in bed together talking. A man ogles a woman.
 A man repeatedly tells a woman, "I want you." A voice describes a man fantasizing about a woman lying nude in his bed. A woman asks a man to come up to her apartment. A man apologizes for "ogling" a woman.
 There is a joke about a guitar with two necks that is a symbol that the owner is "compensating for something."

VIOLENCE/GORE 5 - A man is struck by a bus, thrown back and lands hard on the street (we see blood pool under his head, and we see his twisted hand and arm, and his legs bent to the side).
 A man with bloody wounds is wheeled into a hospital on a stretcher and we hear that he was shot.
 A woman talks about what it might be like to jump off a building (we see imagining letting go and falling) and she describes the pool of blood and twisted limbs of someone who actually had jumped.
 A woman imagines driving her car along a bridge, while a boy riding his bike in front of her causes her to swerve and drive off the road and into a river.
 A boy is nearly struck by a bus, he is thrown out of the way and apparently has an injured arm.
 A woman walks through an emergency room in a hospital looking for dying people and asks a nurse where she might find some that are "not going to make it." We see a man with casts and bandages on his limbs lying in a hospital bed.
 A large wrecking claw tears through the wall of a man's apartment while he sits on the couch watching TV (he is not injured). A man kicks a lamp shattering the bulb, pulls clothes out of his closet and yells in anger and frustration.
 We see a nature program where a bird with a broken wing is attacked by many crabs, a zebra is attacked by a crocodile, and a cobra eats a mouse (we hear the mouse squeal).
 People yell at and jeer at a man (he is an IRS tax auditor) and one waves a bread knife in his direction. A man tells another man that a woman "kills people" (she's an author and she "kills" her main characters). A woman imagines assorted ways of dying and killing off a character in her book.
 A man urinates in a plastic container while sitting on his couch and we see the liquid in the container later on. A man urinates in a urinal (we hear the trickle), while talking to a man who's in the bathroom with him. A man in a movie vomits profusely into a bucket after eating a large meal (it's a scene from Monty Python's "The Meaning of Life"). We see a pay phone covered with mucus.
 A woman has a tattoo that covers much of one of her arms. A woman smokes cigarettes in several scenes in the movie, and she spits in a tissue and puts her cigarette out in it.
 A man hears a voice in several scenes and he becomes distracted and agitated.

PROFANITY 5 - 1 F-word, 2 scatological terms, 2 anatomical terms, 8 mild obscenities, name-calling (idiot, crazy, stupid), 1 religious profanity, 5 religious exclamations. [profanity glossary]

SUBSTANCE USE - A woman smokes cigarettes in several scenes, and a man smokes a cigarette. A man drinks a lot of coffee in several scenes.

DISCUSSION TOPICS - Strictly structured lives, loneliness, empty lives, schizophrenia, heroism, death, facing death, IRS tax auditors, love, bravery, routine, fear, despair, habitual counting, tact, good manners, hate, fate, literary theory, making the world a better place, socialism, anarchy, comedy vs. tragedy.

MESSAGE - Live your life to the utmost because you never know when it will end. We all die eventually.

Special Keywords: S4 - V5 - P5 - MPAAPG-13

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A CAVEAT: We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and some of our early standards were not as stringent as they are now. We therefore need to revisit many older reviews, especially those written prior to 1998 or so; please keep this in mind if you're consulting a review from that period. While we plan to revisit and correct older reviews our resources are limited and it is a slow, time-consuming process.

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