26/12/2013

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

Life-affirming, joyous, inspiring: these are a few words that will immediately put me off of a film because I'm too cynical for that shit, but despite The Secret Life of Walter Mitty being a few of these things, I actually kinda liked it.

Walter Mitty (Ben Stiller) escapes his mundane existence with fantastical daydreams about beating the shit out of his new sort-of boss and living a long and happy life with the object of his affections, Cheryl Melhoff (Kristen Wiig). When the magazine he works for (there's enough advertisement in the film) slashes jobs thanks to its move onto the internet, he loses a negative of the magazine's last cover and goes on an adventure to find the famously elusive photographer which turns his fantasies into a reality.

Tonally it's all over the place as funny scenes make way for a bit of navel-gazing as the plot progresses, but much like the Nike slogan doesn't say, just go with it. Personally I wasn't too fussed or even invested in the characters or what was happening because I was too busy wondering why I've never gone to Iceland and drank out of a boot glass while singing The Human League badly. Why have I never jumped into a helicopter and fought off a shark with a briefcase and skateboarded near some mountains? WHAT AM I DOING WITH MY LIFE? I'm not sure if the purpose of James Thurber's 1939 short story was to awaken a sense of adventure in people but that's certainly the affect this surprisingly sweet but not saccharine adaptation had on me.