These last few days, I’ve had the opportunity to spend time with old friends. We’ve shared meals, walks, and talks, and I’ve enjoyed their company immensely. The time they’ve set aside to share with me, is by far the greatest gift I’ve had this Christmas. Proving once more that Christmas doesn’t come from a store, and truly means so much more.
The time I spent watching my friend’s baby boy crawl around, looking at the world around him with such wonder, is a memory so precious that it almost makes me cry. For a moment I stop and stare and remember how I sat there not so long ago, chatting away with his mom, about life and things, when he was just an idea. And now years later, I’m here watching him transition from baby to little boy. I imagine one day I’ll sit in that very room and stare in amazement at a young man whom I will have know since he was just an idea…
In a way I find there is a little Walter Mitty in all of us. A hidden dreamer who hopes for greater things. We yearn for moments, connections, memories. That’s probably why social media is everywhere. People Facebook, Tweet, Instagram everything today, from meals to things that seem taken right out of a movie reel. But in doing so, perhaps we do to memories what commercialization has done to Christmas…we dilute them. In our attempt to capture “The Quintessence of Life”, we seem to somehow miss it all together.
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, may not be an original idea, it may very well pale in comparison to the original work, but perhaps it will remind viewers that it’s okay to unplug, set aside cameras and phones and simply enjoy the moment through our own eyes instead of a lense.
I’m not sure if it was that nice feeling of having a friend to go to the movies (as opposed to sheepishly going alone), or the fact that I’m a sucker for happy endings, but I really enjoyed this movie.
Critics on Rotten Tomatoes can say what they want, but those higher viewer ratings prove that people still enjoy seeing a Walter Mitty kind of ending. If anything, this story is a nice distraction from all the craziness of the world, and a reminder that as Sean Penn’s character says: “Beautiful things don’t demand attention”.