The Secret Life of Walter Mitty is based on a short story by James Thurber. Ben Stiller does a good job of playing nerdy and bland. Walter Mitty is in the negative assets division for Life magazine. He works in the basement, culling through photography negatives. Now that the magazine is moving to on-line only, Walter is left to produce negative 25 from the great photographer played by Sean Penn. Problem is – the negative is missing and the evil transition boss played by Adam Scott is on Mitty’s case.
Poor Walter tends to zone out. He and is life are beige, but his imagination takes him out of that world. He imagines himself charming the new woman played by Kristen Wiig. He imagines himself as the hero in any situation. Well, when he finally leaves his mind and actually goes on an adventure to find the lost negative, Walter Mitty turns into Technicolor so-to-speak. As he tracks Sean Penn through Iceland, Greenland, and then the far regions of Afghanistan, Mitty grows a beard, becomes more assertive, and does leap from a helicopter to a boat.
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty is a sweet charming movie. It’s well acted and has nice moments. It offers a good message, especially in this computer day and age – step out, experience life, and don’t just snap photos. Actually open your eyes and look. Take a breath and look around. Life can surprise you. And that’s not a secret, it’s a truth.