I really like the Secret Life of Walter Mitty. No, I haven’t seen the movie yet. I’m talking about the short story by James Thurber. It was included in several of the textbook readers I used in middle school and high school and I always thought it was a cute story. And considering that I moved around a lot because my dad was in the Army I had the opportunity to study it multiple times with different teachers at three different age level. I mean, it is a cute story, right? Walter Mitty is an adorable little push over wishing that he was something more. It doesn’t matter that the story is from the 1930s. You can relate to it no matter the time period.
Ben Stiller is doing his best to adapt the story for the modern era. And while modern moviegoers might think the story was cute back in high school that story deosn’t necessarily translate to film all that easily. When I heard Ben Stiller was attached to the movie I kind of thought, “Okay, so, this is going to be some sort of slapstick comedy that’s fun to watch but kind of ‘meh’ the next time around, right?”
If this trailer is any indication of what this movie is going to be then it’s going to be amazing. Just take a moment to watch it if you haven’t already. The choice of the Of Monsters and Men song is absolutely brilliant – the lyrics and the song itself match the tone of the trailer perfectly. And if you weren’t rooting for Walter from the beginning you sort of have to at the end.
The trailer actually makes this movie out to be something a bit seriously. You’ve got Ben Stiller playing a guy whose sort of seemingly wasted his life working for Time magazine without ever really doing anything. If you know the original story, he escapes from his mundane life through daydreams. That aspect of the story and character are clearly in tact – there are moments that are very obviously his active imagination running wild. But the rest of the trailer seems much more real. I like the idea of taking the daydreamer out of the dreams and throwing him into a real adventure. That’s what he’s always wanted, right?
Now, the last bit of the trailer shows that we’re not getting away from humor all together. I’m just hoping it’s more low key humor like that than anything else. Also, Adam Scott? What’s what is with the Seneca Cane beard?
Either way – humor or not and despite the weird beard – this film is going to be awesome.
It’ll certainly be better than the short film version of The Secret Life of Walter Mitty that my friends Sean and Trevor and I made back in high school for an English class assignment. We, too, brought Walter Mitty into the modern world. But where this film seems like it will lead him to a happier end and much more fulfilled life, ours was just tragic. Our daydreaming Walter Mitty let his dreams take over a bit too much and he accidentally ran someone down without realizing it while pretending he was a cop chasing bank robbers. He was then arrested and found guilty of manslaughter.
This film is guaranteed to be much happier and much better just in general.
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty is scheduled to hit theatres on December 25th, 2013.