Harold Crick’s seemingly mundane life takes a drastic turn as he is faced with inevitable death. Although most of his actions and any meaning in life seem insignificant, his actions in the moments prior to a near death experience have lasting effects on the many individuals around him. As Sartre explains, existentialism relies heavily on the human beings that we interact with daily. Harold Crick’s near death saved the life of one boy and by association or proximity affected the lives of many others. In the same instance, the event was shaped by interacting with other individuals. If it weren’t for a narrator’s voice, an incorrect time given by a stranger, and the encouragement of others to live out his life as he was meant to, Harold Crick would never have had the chance to save the boy’s life. By risking his life to save the life of another, he contained the spread of pain and suffering, for which he was rewarded with life by some miraculous recognition of humanity. Harold Crick did not act rash, he knew very well he could avoid his immediate death. However, he understood that this was what he “must” do. He understood that these moments are the moments that define a life. Sartre quotes, “’Man is nothing else but what he purposes, he exists only in so far as he realizes himself, he is therefore nothing else but the sum of his actions, nothing else but what his life is.’” Upon meeting Ana Pascal and having his life narrated, the once meaningful parts of his life seem less significant and he begins to focus his actions toward the things he has always wanted to do, such as learn how to play the guitar. The other humans in his life give hope to Harold by creating meaning either through simple interactions, casual movie nights, talks about his imminent death or even through bleak talks with the one who is to end Harold’s tragic life.
With the realization and acceptance of the possibility of death as well as the understanding of the responsibility to act as he must, Harold Crick was able to live his life out as fully as he wished. With an understanding of the humanity of the other, Crick’s life is spared and the narrator’s (whom ultimately decided not to kill him) humanity flourishes. When watching or re-watching Stranger Than Fiction, it is difficult to deny the role of intersubjectivity as a key component to the plot. Intersubjectivity is the idea that something can exist between two separate minds, in this case the narrator’s voice is shared between Crick and the author. In the end this results in a series of events that bring many of the character’s lives together. Harold, our protagonist, or perhaps his wristwatch, are no doubt aided by the intersubjective nature of the story’s many characters. Without the realization of one’s humanity and the intersubjective understanding of other people’s humanity and the importance of their presence, the story would be flat. As beings able to understand the humanity of others through intersubjective experiences, the audience plays its own profound role in creating important meaning to the story and the personable characters within the story. All in all, a fine cinematic experience indeed.