22 November 2013 10:00 AM, PST | ioncinema | See recent ioncinema news »

Life is Like a Box of Chalk: Stiller Revamps Thurber for Hollow Melancholy

With its soaring visuals and dizzying soundtrack of expertly placed tunes to inspire the melancholy soul, Ben Stiller’s latest film, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, plays like the visual counterpart of a sugar high—a package that initially seems primed to stir emotions but tends to fizzle out without a substantive payoff. Based, in part, on a short story by James Thurber, which also provided the basis for a 1947 musical starring Danny Kaye, Stiller and screenwriter Steven Conrad (who insistently returns to the regular-Joe-breaking-his-mold motif), neglect to instill emotional depth to this adventure about bettering oneself, distracted by its own gloss and terms of endearment, as if Michael Bay were trying to emulate Wes Anderson.

Walter Mitty (Ben Stiller), a negative asset manager at prestigious Life magazine, lives a drab existence, disappearing into his own »

- Nicholas Bell

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