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Lights! Camera! Taxes! The IRS's Star Turn

By Suzanne Woolley and Ben Steverman - 2013-03-27T17:11:31Z

Photograph by Sony Pictures/Everett Collection

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'Stranger Than Fiction' (2006)

Will Ferrell plays intensely regimented IRS agent Harold Crick, a man who counts his toothbrush strokes, among many other things. (Ferrell has said a job as a bank teller after college helped inform the role.) Crick's challenge is to audit a lefty bakery owner (Maggie Gyllenhaal). "Crick was a man of infinite numbers, endless calculations and remarkably few words," says the film's narrator, a novelist whose voice Crick begins hearing in his head -- and whose plot development for her next novel, he realizes, is dictating the course of his life.

Best tax line (from a colleague of Crick's): "Dude, I just totally caught some insurance adjuster claiming his Jet Ski as a work vehicle."

Tax takeaway: Even the nerdiest of tax agents can get the girl in the end.

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