It’s not enough to get solid applause from a preem audience at the finale of your movie, you’ve got to parlay the picture into the post-preem party.
And so it was again with the bow of Columbia’s “Stranger Than Fiction” at Mann’s Village Theater in Westwood. The audience applauded the “Stranger” film. And 500 of them paraded the length of the Village to a new party site on Lindbrook Ave, the long-vacated Flax Art store. In keeping with the film’s literary theme, Flax was now transformed into the Writer’s Block Cafe. White walls in the otherwise barren space in the main rooms were inscribed with lines from the film; “I brought you flours,” as well as “because I want you,” two of Will Ferrell’s lines to Maggie Gyllenhaal.
Both stars were on hand to take bows with co-stars Dustin Hoffman and Emma Thompson and producer Lindsay Doran. Footage of the film was screened above the jam-packed rooms bordered by groaning boards of Wolfgang Puck’s pleasures.
There was plenty to talk about in this film. As Variety’s Todd McCarthy wrote: “It will be a revealing test of Ferrell’s fan base to see how many of those who thronged to “Talladega Nights’ will follow him into the moderately more rarefied territory of ‘Stranger Than Fiction’.” It’s the age-old question: why do comedians want to play Shakespeare?