Ben Stiller has always been hit-or-miss for me. I go into his movies unsure of what I'm going to get. Sometimes I love them (Zoolander) and sometimes I hate them (Little Fockers). But, Stiller's newest film, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, surprised me with how much I actually enjoyed it.
This film follows the title character, Walter Mitty, a negative assets manager at Life Magazine who has a tendency to drift off into his own fantasy world. Instead of living life to its fullest, Walter acts out his wildest dreams in his mind. That is, until he is whisked away on a whirlwind adventure that changes his outlook on life forever.
Not only did Ben Stiller star in this film, he also directed it. Most people don't know this, but Stiller has been directing since his days on SNL back in the late 80's and has directed some great films such as Reality Bites, The Cable Guy, Zoolander, and Tropic Thunder. But what I found most notable was the man who wrote the film -- Steve Conrad. His most recognized works are the Nicolas Cage film, The Weather Man, and the inspirational Will Smith film, The Pursuit of Happyness. With a team like this, you're bound to strike gold.
Ben Stiller's portrayal of the title character was amazing. In fact, this is definitely one of the best roles of his I've ever seen. But he didn't make this film great all by himself. Joining him is the beautiful and witty Kristen Wiig as the newly hired Life Magazine employee, Cheryl Melhoff. Her humor in this film is so smart and properly executed. Wiig really makes you love this character. On the flip side, you have Adam Scott, who plays Walter's new prick of a boss. He plays the part really well. So well, that he makes you want to punch him straight in the face.
Another great character is the mysterious Sean O'Connell played by, none other than, Sean Penn. The little bit you actually get to see of this character is great. We also get to see the wonderful Shirley MacLaine and the always funny Kathryn Hahn as Walter's mother and sister, respectively.
If I had seen this film before the new year, it would have definitely made my Top 10 list. I enjoyed everything about it and will definitely watch it again. I highly recommend it if you haven't seen it yet. It's a smart comedy with a great message -- Don't let life pass you by. Go out and make the best of it.
Josh's Rating: 8/10
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