Saturday, November 14, 2015

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

Plot: Walter (Ben Stiller) works at Life Magazine in the 1990's, and he flirts with Meg (Kristen Wiig).  Walter imagines many adventures, and in the course of the movie he has one.   [imdb]    [photos]

Review: Walter Mitty is a fantasy set in New York city. It has fantasy parts are pretty cool. interweaved a rom-com style plot. As Walter grows he fantisizes less, and the move becomes an surreal adventure. I am a sucker for magic realism, so this was a good genre for me.

I liked Kristen Wiig here, she is pretty good when she is not do extreme characters as she did on Saturday Night Live. Ben Stiller was OK, because the character called for the nerdy cluelessness that he often plays. I am not a Ben Still fan generally, but this is one of his better efforts.

I saw this on TV about 2 years after it was in the theater. It is a good movie for home viewing because a lot of the action is mental.

The 1940's version promoted the trope of Walter as a tremendous exaggerator, and according to Wikipedia this entered pop culture at the time. In this version, the fantasies are in Walter's own head, and he is not a fabulist or big liar. Walter's issues are more mental than social, and there is a feeling that dreaming big is not necessarily bad.

Cast: Ben Stiller, Kristen Wiig

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

The Music:
A few good pop songs, including an A Cappella version of Space Oddity by Kristen Wiig. 

The Visuals:
Some nice visuals in Iceland. I liked the art direction of the Life Magazine offices with the large photos on the walls, and the photos being carried out at the end. 

2.5 stars: Entertaining and Interesting. 

More: Walter Mitty is a fictional character in James Thurber's short story "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty", first published in The New Yorker on March 18, 1939, and in book form in My World and Welcome to It in 1942. (Wikipedia)