Stranger than Fiction is a 2006 American comedy-drama-fantasy film directed by Marc Forster, written by Zach Helm, and starring Will Ferrell, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Dustin Hoffman, Queen Latifah, and Emma Thompson. The main plot follows Harold Crick (portrayed by Ferrell), a nondescript IRS official whose regimented life is interrupted by a disembodied voice narrating events as they happen. Believing he is not mentally ill, Crick consults a literature professor (Hoffman) who suspects that Crick might be a character in a novel and who suggests that Crick analyze the narration to determine whether his story might be comedic or tragic. The film was shot on location in Chicago, and has been praised for its innovative, intelligent story and fine performances. Ferrell, who came to prominence playing brash comedic parts, garnered particular attention for offering a restrained performance in his first starring dramatic role.