Nothing I saw in the trailers or the publicity junket made me want to see the Ben Stiller film The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. But I had a sense I should go. I’m a coach. I’m in the dreams business and it’s a film about living your dreams. Word on the street kept whispering to me “go to see Walter Mitty”. I didn’t want to, but the intuition wouldn’t go away. So I went yesterday afternoon, sort of like a works outing. BOY, am I glad I did!
Not for the first time in my life I have gone against the grain, especially where films are concerned, and ignored the critics and reviews and been more than pleasantly surprised. But this time I ignored my own (erroneous) pre-judgement and went anyway, following that nagging intuitive nudge.
I LOVED it. So much so I want to own it on DVD as soon as possible and were I not so exhausted from a full-on week I might even have gone again today. There were many lines I would have liked to have written down. I found myself wishing I was watching on my laptop so I could stop the film and record them and enjoy bits again as I felt they had special messages in them for me and my clients.
Pre film, I had a sense that Walter Mitty was a LO-SER. It’s even an expression I used to use in that context to mean an ineffectual dreamer, a fantasist who lives a double life and possibly even a liar to boot. Now, with the proviso that I haven’t read the original James Thurber short story (available today on kindle for a very reasonable 77p, but see the aforementioned exhaustion for why I haven’t completed my research), Ben Stiller has turned him from a slightly tedious wimp into a sexy adventurous yet modest man who makes his dreams real and gets the girl into the bargain.
Run, don’t walk, to see this film. Ignore the trailers, it is SO much better than that. [Note to the film people, your trailers do your film a disservice.] It’s quirky and funny and uplifting and inspirational and unique. I loved it, I cannot wait to see it again and it may even become my favourite film, certainly one of my all-time faves. Look out for a BRILLIANT cameo by Sean Penn; in fact everyone who’s in it is ace including Shirley MacLane. Ben Stiller directed as well as starred (genius double whammy) and Kirsten Wiig, well it is simply the best thing I’ve seen her in, she plays it lightly and perfectly, not a hint of her trademark slapstick. I laughed out loud from the start and the strangest of things tickled my funny bone; quirky and unique, I told you already. Within seconds of the film starting I could tell I was going to love it all the way through and the sound track is perfect too, which always helps, along with interesting and awe-inspiring locations – Greenland, Iceland, the Himalayas.
At one point the villain of the film hails Walter with what he intends as a derogatory expression “Yo! Dream Machine” and I thought yes, that’s me to and it’s a bloody compliment, not a failing.
Keep an open mind about everything in this life, promise me, let’s make that deal, OK? And take your open mind to see Walter Mitty, then write to let me know what you think. Enjoy the film and take inspiration from it to create the life you want, you Beautiful Dreamer, you.