>That line is the tipoff, in Stranger than Fiction, to English professor Dustin Hoffman that Will Ferrell might be telling the truth when he says that he can hear someone (Emma Thompson, we know) narrating his life. Hoffman says that he teaches a whole seminar on “little did he know,” and while this seems meant to be a joke about the excesses of literary theory, you really could teach a whole lot about “little did he know” and similar reveals of an author’s hand. The line also made me remember my days as Zena Sutherland’s assistant–Zena hated “little did he know,” and the presence of it or its variations (“had she but known,” etc.) in a novel meant a mandatory point deduction in a BCCB review.
We missed this movie in the theater, where it must have come and gone in a minute. When we watched it last night, I kept thinking how much I wanted a Queen Latifah in my life–she plays an “author’s assistant,” hired by Emma Thompson’s publisher to do whatever it takes to get Emma to finish her book. Which Emma does, like, three times, while the movie tries to figure out where and how it wants to end. I was happiest with ending number two. But see it if you can; this movie is one of the more satisfying examples of the fourth-wall cracking we’ve been seeing so much of lately.