Harold Crick was a boring man who led an equally bland lifestyle. He brushed his teeth the same way every day, tied his tie the same way, ate the same breakfast, caught the same bus, and walked the same steps all while counting out every move. He never took any risks, and he never stepped out of his ritualistic world. .
Harold's life had no meaning because he had nothing to love. He did not love himself, he did not love his job, he did not love his apartment, and he certainly did not have a girl to love. Until the narrator's voice started haunting his thoughts and describing his every move to him, one would think he did not even know he was alive anymore. But when Harold meets Anna Pascal, everything changes. At first he thinks he is crazy, hearing this British woman narrator's voice in his head steadily confirming for him the repetition that is his life, but when Harold meets Anna Pascal, it seems to shake him awake. Then, when he hears the narrator say that he is going to die, he knows he has to change and that he does not have long to do it. .
Anna seems to be everything he shies away from: beauty, intelligence, free will, quirkiness, and most of all femininity. Yet the first time he saw her, he could not help but stare. She instantly hated him because he is a tax man who has come to her cozy little café to audit her. Regardless of her feelings, he feels a strong attraction towards her and with some help from an English professor named Prof. Hilbert; he realizes she could be the decision that influences whether his story will become a comedy or a tragedy. He falls in love with her and by doing so he takes the biggest risk of his life. He beats his old life of boring obsession and incapability of loving, and he has taken the first and biggest step towards his new life.
Harold decides that he needs to change his life and make it worth living his last few breaths. Making up for lost time is something that he does well.