Zach Helm’s Stranger Than Fiction has its defenders. That’s cool. Movies need defenders. I knew a guy in college who watched Psychos in Love every Valentine’s Day because he hated women, and, while this curious disposition either fixed itself or got him into some serious trouble later in life, the unabashed enjoyment he derived from the gory, ineptly made romantic comedy was a source of light in his life. It’s important to love things, even if that love is the product of a deep, abiding misogyny.
That tangent went nowhere.
Judging from the trailer for Zach Helm’s Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium, it’s abundantly clear that we share a deep, abiding adoration for Pee Wee’s Big Adventure. That said, we express our affection in very different ways: I settle for simply watching the movie, while he mugs Walden Media for an undisclosed chunk of change in order to rip off the film’s aesthetic. Think I’m being harsh? Watch the below trailer. It’s one thing to have the adorable Natalie Portman sweetly whispering "Good Morning" to the toy shop as she opens for business, but quite another to incorporate Danny Elfman’s "Breakfast Machine" cue at the precise moment you’re thinking, "Gee, the only way this trailer could remind me more of Pee Wee’s Big Adventure is if they suddenly cut in the actual music from Pee Wee’s Big Adventure!"
Hopefully, this is just Fox’s marketing department just phoning in a trailer for a movie they don’t understand. It happens. I like the talent involved (Portman, Dustin Hoffman and Jason Bateman) and found Stranger Than Fiction mildly diverting for about an hour or so. This might be something. It also might be as pleasant as dysentery (though I’m sure dysentary has its fans, too).