The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2013) Directed by Ben Stiller. Starring: Ben Stiller, Kristen Wiig, Adam Scott. IMDB says: “A day-dreamer escapes his anonymous life by disappearing into a world of fantasies filled with heroism, romance and action. When his job along with that of his co-worker are threatened, he takes action in the real world embarking on a global journey that turns into an adventure more extraordinary than anything he could have ever imagined.”
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty stars Ben Stiller as a Photo Negatives Manager for Life Magazine who arrives at work one day to find that the issue they are working on now will actually be the last. The magazine is being turned into an online only venture and most of the staff will be fired. He also creates an online dating profile to have an excuse to talk to a new employee that started there a month ago. Some technical difficulties with the site prompt him to call in and have a conversation about how he hasn’t done much with his life, adventure wise.
Walter isn’t really a sad sack character, however. He was adventurous at a young age, but had to buckle down when he lost his father and his family needed money. It was a case of life getting away from him. Due to this lack of adventure, he would often daydream while talking to people, as if his imagination was compensating for his lack of real life expeditions. Later, these daydreams push him to go for things he may otherwise not have with a little encouragement from his crush Cheryl (Kristen Wiig).
The music and imagery help define the feel of this movie. The story is interesting enough, but the locations and action sequences are what really draws you into the experience. That’s not to say the story is bad, it is about as good as most stories coming out of a major Hollywood studio.
The only downside I saw while watching Walter Mitty was the amount of advertising placed in the film. Nothing was terribly gratuitous, but there was more product placement than I’m used to seeing in a movie.
I think this film would have broad appeal to most movie watchers. It’s visually entertaining and has some fun pop culture references. This may not be a movie that gets in your head and forces you to dwell on its narratives, but the time you spend with it will be enjoyable.