The Secret Life of Walter Mitty [2013]



Directed by: Ben Stiller
Written by: Steve Conrad; based on the short story by James Thurber

Starring: Ben Stiller, Kristen Wiig, Adam Scott, Sean Penn, Shirley MacLaine, Kathryn Hahn

Walter Mitty (Ben Stiller) is a hero for all of us, the guys that are a little introverted and spend a large portion of the day lost in daydreams and fantasies. 

He is (painfully) just like you and me: good at his work but not so good at meeting new people. He’s got the perfect witty retort to that mean-spirited comment by his boss, but keeps it to himself -as you do- lest he lose his job. 

In showing us just a bit of ourselves on the big screen, but also letting us know us that while there’s no bounds for the imagination, a little action once in a while doesn’t hurt, Walter Mitty is one of the best and most fulfilling cinematic experiences of the year.

The comedic aspect of Mitty falters a bit. We’re talking about Ben Stiller here, who’s not known for being refined. His silly style of getting laughs hurts the first act just a little, but that is quickly forgotten amid the incredible visuals (Stuart Dryburgh) and rich story. 

Kristen Wiig is her usual adorable self as Walter’s love interest Cheryl, while Adam Scott is superb as his douchey boss and Sean Penn manages to leave a mark in just one scene. However, his character is also responsible for orchestrating a wonderful finale that’ll have you reaching for the tissues. Or was that just me? 

If anything, this film has helped me change my perception of Stiller, who does a remarkable job in front and especially behind the camera. His Secret Life is one of those vibrant, fresh pictures that reminds you why you love cinema and how easy it is to fall under its spell.