November 20, 2015

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2013)

Ben Stiller, Kristin Wiig

This movie is kind of awesome. Not just because it's the only movie outside of a Bond franchise to even bother to make interesting opening credits. Not just because the cinematography is enough to make anyone quit job and travel the world.

This movie is kind of awesome because it is so different. Remember when Will Ferrell did Stranger Than Fiction? It was a quirky, off-beat movie that was so far from the types of comedies he was known for and everyone was too weirded out to watch it? Well, this movie is what that movie should have been. It has the same odd vibe with pockets of unexpected humor, except that the pairing of Ben Stiller and Kristen Wiig in this movie are much more pleasing than Will Ferrell and Maggie Gyllenhaal.

I think the reason this movie flew so under the radar is because no one knew what to expect from it. I remember when it came out, yet never felt compelled to see it because all I knew was that it wasn't a straight comedy that starred Ben Stiller. (Though don't get me wrong--I'd probably feel less compelled to watch if it had been.) In fact, I might have missed this movie all together if I hadn't been stuck on a plane that offered free movies in place of customer service or decent food.

But no one should miss this movie, least of all those people who list "travel" as an interest on their resume (because there are people who don't like to travel?). This movie toes a tricky line between reminding us of the depressing grind of daily obligations and restoring a sense of wonder and excitement about the world around us. And it does it with Ben Stiller.

Final word: Good enough to re-think your stance on Ben Stiller movies.

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