Monday, August 5, 2013

Up From Development Hell: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

I can't remember a time when Hollywood was not buzzing about a big-screen remake of The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. At the peaks of their respective careers, Jim Carrey and then Steve Carrell were attached to the project. However, Ben Stiller has finally realized the project, completing a film due out by Christmas.

I recently checked out the trailer, not really expecting that it would be faithful to the original James Thurber story, or the 1947 film starring the legendary Danny Kaye--but was still surprised by how far it diverged from both. Instead of a wacky comedy about a hapless daydreamer, the movie looks like a romantic drama with prestige picture written all over it, and clearly intended to be a contender in this year's Oscar race.

Indeed, comparisons with Forrest Gump are fast becoming a clichè of the publicity--which will doubtless lead to comparisons with Simple Jack.

The buzz for the film thus far is positive, but I can't help feeling I'd rather have seen something more in the spirit of Thurber's story--wildly unrealistic as that seems to be.

Probably Not Coming to a Theater Near You

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