The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

WRITTEN BY: Steve Conrad
DIRECTED BY: Ben Stiller
STARRING: Ben Stiller, Kristen Wiig, Adam Scott, Sean Penn
RATING: 3.5 stars


If you're not happy with your routine lifestyle, you may find some motivation to follow your dreams after watching The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. In fact, even if you love your life, you may still draw some inspiration from the film. As a major daydreamer, I can definitely relate to Walter, and I think a lot of other people will too. This remake of a 1947 film, which has also been adapted from James Thurber's short story, is funny, sweet and uplifting.

Walter Mitty (Ben Stiller) is a daydreamer, often zoning out from his dull reality to live in his own adventurous fantasy world where he is the witty and romantic hero. When his job at Life magazine is at risk, he is forced to take action in the real world by embarking on an extraordinary global journey in search of a missing photograph. He travels through countries including Greenland and Iceland, and confronts dangers including volcanoes, mountains and sharks.

Stiller also directs the film and pays close attention to details, especially cinematography and the soundtrack. His performance is also strong. Kristen Wiig is endearing as Walter's colleague, Cheryl Melhoff, with whom he is secretly in love with, but her role could have been played by any number of actresses in Hollywood. The running gag with Todd (Patton Oswalt) who is trying to help Walter improve his online dating profile is also humorous and a little silly at times. Shirley MacLaine plays Walter's mum, who has a more crucial role than expected, and Kathryn Hahn plays Walter's bubbly sister intent on landing an acting role as Rizzo in Grease. Sean Penn rounds out the cast as Sean O'Connell, the reclusive photographer Walter is trying to find but he only has a couple of scenes.

If you're looking for a feel good film this Boxing Day, you cannot go wrong with The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.


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