Director: Ben Stiller
MPAA Rating: PG
Running Time: 114 min
Walter can’t think of anything interesting to say on his eHarmony profile that might catch the attention of his creative coworker Cheryl; his life is just too ordinary. But in his imagination, Walter has incredible adventures—adventures like the ones photographed by the legendary Sean O’Connell for Life magazine. For over a decade, Walter has worked at Life collecting and developing Sean’s negatives. But when new management puts an end to the printed Life magazine, Sean sends Walter one last roll of film. In a telegram to the management, Sean announces that negative 25 is the best photograph he has ever taken and should be used as the cover for Life’s final issue. The only problem: Walter can’t find negative 25. It seems to have been left out of the roll. And Sean O’Connell has no phone and no permanent address. The only clues to Sean’s whereabouts are the other negatives on the roll. Inspired by his affection for Cheryl and a desire to live the kind of life he’s been dreaming about, Walter boards a plane to Greenland in search of Sean O’Connell and adventure.
I loved this movie! I wouldn’t indiscriminately recommend it to everyone (it may be too artsy for some), but I thought it was hilarious and beautiful. It felt to me like a cross between Office Space (1999) and The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004). There was a lot of humor (witty, slapstick, and quirky), but the plot focused on Walter’s personal journey of self-discovery. The filming style deliberately called the viewer’s attention to the camera techniques—which seemed appropriate for a film about photography. If you enjoy kind of artsy films, but also like the type of humor in films like Office Space, definitely give this one a try!