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A Secret Life

Without shame, I’ll say I do enjoy me some Ben Stiller products. Whether the contribution is seminal or later collaboration there are distinctly different branches of entertainment. There are some that might be harder to sit through like Starsky and Hutch or Mystery Men. Family friendly comedies like Night at the Museum or Tower Heist. Intentionally less funny outings like Reality Bites or Permanent Midnight. (I always hear Warren Zevon singing “so I’m gonna hurl myself against the wall; cause I’d rather feel bad than not feel anything at all” during the window scene in that flick.) Way more adulty gut busters like Dodgeball/There’s Something About Mary/Zoolander/Tropic Thunder carved indelible lines into my memory. “Oh Man! How’d you get the beans above the frank?”/ “I’m pretty sure there’s a lot more to life than being really, really, ridiculously good looking. And I plan on finding out what that is.” “As for why I’m in this movie, maybe I just knew I had to represent. Cause they one good part in this movie for a Black man and they gave it to Crocodile Dundee.”/ And literally anything voiced by Cotton McKnight and Pepper Brooks. Those make me cry on a good day.

But there is one project that really seems to kick me in the soul and combine so much more than a good entertaining watch and that is The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. Like the other movies, hate the other movies, probably doesn’t matter. Most critics didn’t care for it, makes me like it even more.

To me, it is entertaining, touching, challenging, funny, irritating, and so on. As someone who spent a fair bit of days in life imagining what it would be like to be rich, famous, brilliant, compelling, adored, powerful, take your pick, the world sells a lot of it. Some of it still has some appeal but I think the most general challenge presented by the movie is to find the amazing reality available in your own life. I will never strut out onto a stage and see an immense crowd absolutely lose their minds because they are going to hear a song they love. Can’t even imagine the rush that must be. I will never dive into a pile of gold doubloons and swim around in millions of expendable wealth. Doesn’t matter. Like Walter, with much less cinematographic gorgeousness, risk to life and limb, and drama, when you live your own life and engage in your own adventures, it proves Hemingway was right. “Any man’s life, told truly, is a novel.” I hope you are writing something interesting and enjoyable. At the end you will be the model who gets the cover and you are THE one earning the details of the story. Right NOW. I hope you are pleased with the headline. If not, what are you going to do about it?

Ground control to Major Tom…

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