From Tracie: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

Monday, November 24, 2014

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

We need to talk about The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty. I saw previews for it in the theater last year, and didn't feel very inspired. I thought it was going to be one of those "funny" remakes where they replace the soul of the story with a lot of fart jokes. I still wanted to see it, because I hoped it would surprise me, but I didn't go out of my way to pursue it.

Then my friend Jackie told me she loved it so much she wanted to see it again. At that point I knew I needed to move it up higher on my list.

I finally saw it last month, and it was in one word: amazing.


It was funny, really funny. But it was also serious, and heartwarming, and important. It is a movie with deep feelings. Yes, Ben Stiller has deep feelings.

The Secret Life of Waler Mitty is Ben Stiller's Stranger Than Fiction.  (Have you seen Stranger Than Fiction? With Will Ferrell? If not, go get a copy and watch it right now.) You expect it to be funny because of the star, and the scenes in the trailer, but once you get into the movie, it is so much more, and you realize that there was a hidden depth to the story that you never expected to discover.

Back to Walter Mitty. The story is, of course, updated and expanded from the original Secret Life Of Walter Mitty short story. It is different from the Danny Kaye movie in 1947, as well. This Secret Life Of Walter Mitty is its own thing.

Walter Mitty is a negative asset manager at Life Magazine, which is about to publish its last physical issue. A special photographer sends in a roll of negatives that should include a picture he calls the "quintessence of life," but it is missing. This sends Walter on a journey that is both adventurous and deeply revealing.

I was so moved by the whole story. One big aspect was the motto of Life Magazine:
To see the world, things thousands of miles away, things hidden behind walls and within rooms, things dangerous to come to, to draw closer, to find each other and feel, to see and be amazed. That is the purpose of Life.
How awesome is that? So awesome that the next day during a conference call Cyn and I had to pause the meeting to talk about the movie and read the motto to everyone.

If I tell you any specifics about the story beyond this, I will ruin some of the magic for you. But just know that even if you aren't usually a Ben Stiller fan, you should give Walter Mitty a chance.

I loved the feel of it, the music, the breathtakingly beautiful scenery, and the story. And I loved the way they brought Life Magazine back to life. There was something beautiful and heartbreaking all at once to see it publishing again with amazing photography, just to watch it turned into an online publication.

Not that I don't love online publications. I am a blogger, obviously I believe in online publications, but I appreciate physical copies of books and magazines. I might read too many dystopian novels, but there is something important to me about having words and stories and pictures collected in a physical form that would outlast the destruction of our power grids. But those are thoughts for another day. Today, you just concentrate on watching The Secret Life of Walter Mitty and letting me know how it made you feel.

Life Magazine Motto from The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. I loved this movie!

What great movies have you watched lately? 
*NaBloPoMo - Day 24


  1. Never seen this, but now after your glowing review totally want to see it ;)

  2. I'm not usually a Ben Stiller fan but I saw this movie and fell in love with his performance. To me, this is a grand movie. Photography. Adventure. Love. Deep meaning. I saw it twice and it's a favorite.