Movie: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

Along with my new years resolutions to read more classic books and actually read the books I own instead of buying new ones (a feat easier said than done), I also resolved to watch more movies. There are so many that come and go in theaters that I end up missing. And my netflix queue is already novel length from trying to watch the movies I have missed in my lifetime. So I have been trying to get myself up in the morning (not an easy task) in an attempt to watch the cheaper, first theater showing of movies I want to see.

One of those movies ended up being The Secret Life of Walter Mitty starring and directed by Ben Stiller. I remember watching the trailer and being intrigued. I had to see it to find out more. It was definitely a movie I was glad I didn’t miss.

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

Ben Stiller plays Walter Mitty who works in the film department of LIFE Magazine and dreams of fantastical adventures only in the realm of his mind until he actually goes out and starts living his own adventure. Sean Penn and Kristen Wiig star.

I really enjoyed this movie. It was a great chance to see Ben Stiller play someone who was more real than the comical characters he normally plays. The movie still had funny moments though. It was also visually stunning. I don’t know where he filmed but some of the shots of the landscape were beautiful. It made me miss traveling and wish I had the means to explore more often. Sean Penn was perfectly cast as the brazen, adventurous photographer. Kristen Wiig* was actually enjoyable to watch interact with Ben’s character. Overall, I would rate the movie 5 out of 5.

I felt really inspired after watching this movie. It made me want to go out and do more. I am somewhat of a homebody (as you would expect from a book nerd and TV/movie enthusiast) but I felt I needed to go out and do more fun things. Studying abroad was a big adventure for me 7 years ago, but it didn’t mean that my adventures had to stop even if I was no longer in Europe.

I was also inspired by the LIFE magazine motto which I had never read before. “To see the world, things dangerous to come to, to see behind walls, draw closer, to find each other, and to feel. That is the purpose of life.” I liked the quote so much that I wrote it on my white board which hangs prominently on my wall over my desk.

I didn’t realize until after I had watched the movie that it was a remake of The Secret Life of Walter Mitty starring Danny Kaye** which in turn was based on the short story by James Thurber The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. I’m not sure how this movie compared to the original. It might be one I have to add to the netflix queue.

*I have to say I am not a big fan of Kristen Wiig. I think the SNL characters she played were obnoxious and annoying. It was nice to see her do something different and not rely so heavily on her comedian chops.

**I LOVE Danny Kaye. Probably based on the fact that he is in one of my favorite Christmas movies which I have probably seen 1000 times growing up (mostly because it is also my mother’s favorite movie). 100 awesome points to the person who knows which movie I am talking about.