Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
This film image released by 20th Century Fox shows Ben Stiller in "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty." (AP Photo/20th Century Fox, Wilson Webb)
Movie review: ‘The Secret Life of Walter Mitty’ is by turns funny and smarmy

First Published Dec 24 2013 10:40 am • Last Updated Dec 27 2013 10:03 am

From the first moments of the gentle fantasy "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty," it’s clear that star-director Ben Stiller is trying to be sincere — and that he can’t quite pull it off.

Stiller plays Walter, the central figure of James Thurber’s famous short story, turned here into a shy photo archivist for Life magazine who is also the hero of his own adventure-filled daydreams. In those fantasies, Walter can talk to the new girl in the office (Kristen Wiig) and talk back to the corporate jerk (Adam Scott) who’s analyzing the magazine’s post-merger fate.

At a glance

HHhj

‘The Secret Life of Walter Mitty’

Opens Wednesday, Dec. 25, at theaters everywhere; rated PG for some crude comments, language and action violence; 114 minutes.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

But when a negative from a globe-hopping photographer (Sean Penn) goes missing, Walter decides to take a risk and pursue his own adventure, starting in Greenland.

Stiller’s visualizations of Walter’s daydreams are clever and hilarious, and there’s an amusing running gag involving Walter’s eHarmony account manager (Patton Oswalt). But when the adventures turn "real," Stiller lets Thurber’s story get trapped in a sea of sticky sentimentality and smug "live your dreams" moralizing.

movies@sltrib.com; www.sltrib.com/entertainment




Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Videos
Jobs
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Login to the Electronic Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.