Comfortable and Furious

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2013 Ben Stiller version)

When fantasizing about being in the Himalayan mountains, Walter Mitty dreams only of coffee from Cinnabon! Enjoy a Mochalatta Chill today!

PG, 114 Minutes

Fair Value of The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2013): -$4.00. This is a complete inversion of Thurber’s book, it’s dull and soulless. If I want to watch commercials for E-Harmony, Papa John’s Pizza, Cinnabon, Droids, and Career Builder, I’d sit at home and watch YouTube. Fuck off!

I Review Movies, not Commercials. Here’s what Ben Stiller’s sponsors want you to know:

  • You can follow your dreams and have an amazing life, so long as you are rich, have an unlimited travel budget, live in Manhattan, and look like Ben Stiller. Good to know.
  • Papa John’s Pizza exists in rural Icelandic villages and isolated Tibetan plateaus. And they provide a valuable source of employment as well as pizza!
  • If you sign up for E-Harmony, their customer service agents will hound you to the ends of the earth to ensure you get a perfect dating profile, and they will go so far as to spring you from Guantanamo Bay!
  • The perfect thing to eat after 17 hours of detention and enhanced interrogation by those silly folks at the TSA? Why coffee and a cinnamon bun from Cinnabon!
  • If you sign up with Career Builder, you will get job offers as soon as you finish assembling your resume!
  • You should always make impulsive choices like jumping into frozen artic waters from a helicopter, or bribing Afghan warlords with clementine cake, because it will pay off, and you will be a better person for it.
  • Sometimes, you just have to live in the moment, and not take the photo of the elusive snow leopard that others paid you tens of thousands of dollars to photograph, because, after all, what does money really matter?
  • Even when your corporate masters lay you off and all your friends, and destroy everything you’ve spent your life working towards, you should still give them the photo, but not without telling them off first. I’m sure that layoff specialist cried himself to sleep that night!

I could excuse the idiotic man-children of Hollywood, the Michael Bays and Roland Emmerichs. But Stiller made Tropic Thunder and Zoolander. He knows what good film-making is; he just chooses to make a commercial for smartphones instead. I hope his career follows the trajectory of Michael Myers from this point on.

James Thurber’s The Secret Life of Walter Mitty is an absolute classic of the American short story, a universal story of the everyman who is both sustained and imprisoned by the power of his imagination. Ben Stiller’s Walter Mitty skateboards away from an exploding volcano, and wins the love of Kristen Wiig.

My greatest regret about seeing this film is that I didn’t watch it on the opening night. If I had, I would have been able to warn people to avoid this film like a colonoscopy.

To close this review, I’m going to quote from “The Common People” by Pulp:

“You’ll never live like common people,

You’ll never do whatever common people do,

You’ll never fail like the common people,

You’ll never watch your life slide out of view,

Then you dance and you drink and screw,

Because there’s nothing else to do.”

Burma Shave

Sing along with us common people, Ben!



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