The second cinematic adaptation of James Thurber’s 1939 short story (the first was in 1947 with Danny Kaye as Mitty) this time starring and directed by Ben Stiller as the titular central character. Stiller excels at playing the sympathetic everyman, and never has he been more successful at doing so than here, as we see our hero to be daydreaming about winning the girl of his dreams (we see these phases of zoning out as over the top action sequences that he plays out in his head) whilst he remains quiet and somewhat under the radar, dutifully adherent to his routine job and routine lifestyle, until one day adventurer and photographer Sean Penn inadvertently sends him on a trip that’s a million miles (well, not quite a million) outside of his comfort zone.
It’s a feel-good film that really works, as Mitty rediscovers a sense of joie de vivre whilst we learn more about his character and backstory. It ebbs and flows, as the real world quenches his new found optimism when he returns from his first adventure, but ultimately there is a real sense of cathartic satisfaction from this film, and the wonderful location shots of Iceland are enough to make anyone want to do a spot of travelling. With Kristen Wiig and Adam Scott.