Favorite Movie

One of the reasons that Iceland even came up as a possible destination this spring was my love of the movie The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.  The recent one, with Ben Stiller, not the original with Danny Kaye (although, Danny Kaye is a god and anything he did was transcendent, don’t get me wrong).

Mitty01The movie has some absolutely glorious scenes filmed in Iceland, and Iceland masquerading as Greenland, and it made both of us perk up and take notice. Vistas along the Snaefellsnes peninsula, and volcanic eruptions and moss-covered lava.

I’m not a Ben Stiller fan, really. Other than being vaguely amused at Night at the Museum, I haven’t liked his other movies — he tends to embarassing/squirmy sorts of humor that I just don’t get.

So when Mark picked it as his movie choice, I probably tried to get out of it. (We alternate picking movies. He picks interesting, dramatic, meaningful things like Bridge of Spies and The Big Short and I tend more towards The Last Witchhunter and X-Men, don’t judge!) I thought it would be a painful, poke-fun-at-someone squirming sort of humor ala Zoolander and went with ill-disguised ill humor.  Then again, give me a big tub of popcorn and I’ll probably sit through anything.

I was charmed from the moment the creatively odd credits started until the end of the movie and it leapt immediately to “best movie evah!” in my book and has remained there since.  Quiet, unassuming, frightened guy discovers his inner adventurer — he spent his whole life being responsible and sturdy and reliable and never taking any risks, and then finally takes the leap and gets everything he wanted. It was a beautiful story and I loved every minute.

The movie relies less on his “imaginary life” than the original did, although it does give us a peek into his psyche.  Instead  we see his relationship with the world around him change, finally standing up and stepping outside the lines. I get positively giddy each time he picks up his little silver briefcase and runs to the airport. I loved every single minute.

To see the world, things dangerous to come to, to see behind walls, draw closer, to find each other and to feel. That is the purpose of life.

Considering that my taste in movies tends more leather-clad men in some sci-fi drama, or space fights? I wasn’t expecting to like this gentle comedy at all. So I came away with a new favorite movie, and a serious urge to visit Iceland and look at the beautiful scenery myself.

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