A Review in Product Placements

Walter Mitty Is a Commercial, Not a Movie



THE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTY is a terrible movie. Directed by and starring Ben Stiller (and co-starring a bored Kristen Wiig and Adam Scott's terrible beard), here's how it "improves" upon James Thurber's short story about a downtrodden man who daydreams his way through his life:

1. It adds a romantic subplot.

2. It turns Walter Mitty's daydreams into a self-helpy parable about the need to live a fully actualized life.

3. Walter loves skateboarding!

There's less a "plot" than a series of handsprings from one product placement to the next. Such as:

PAPA JOHN'S PIZZA—Ben Stiller, we learn, was a mohawked young punk—until his dad died and he had to go to work at Papa John's Pizza. Papa John made him shave his mohawk and Ben Stiller was like YOU'RE NOT MY REAL DAD, but then he realized Papa John had his best interests at heart.

GOOGLE—When you have a question, a good way to find an answer is to Google your question.

LIFE MAGAZINE—Where Ben Stiller works, in the photo department; his quest to find a photograph for the last-ever print issue of Life drives the plot's action. Life is a metaphor for life.

EHARMONY—eHarmony is a great place for Ben Stiller to stalk ladies he already knows.

MOMS—"I always save your knickknacks," says Ben Stiller's mom, Shirley MacLaine, after rooting through an actual garbage can to retrieve a plot point that idiot Ben Stiller threw in the trash. Moms are the best.

AIR GREENLAND—Greenland is a viable travel destination. OKAY???

McDONALD'S—One character says the phrase "I'm lovin' it," and then the other character is like, "That's the McDonald's slogan."

This list has been edited due to space considerations; not mentioned: Cinnabon, Arcade Fire, Instagram, KFC, and Patton Oswalt's shameless shilling as an eHarmony customer service rep.

Related Film

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

Official Site:

Director: Ben Stiller

Producer: Samuel Goldwyn Jr., John Goldwyn, Stuart Cornfeld, Ben Stiller, Gore Verbinski, Meyer Gottlieb and G. Mac Brown

Cast: Ben Stiller, Kristen Wiig, Shirley MacLaine, Adam Scott, Kathryn Hahn, Sean Penn, Patton Oswalt, Adrian Martinez and Olfur Olafsson


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