Admittedly, the reason why I watched this movie in the first place was to see if Ben Stiller could pull off the actor/director thing. He did a decent job, way to go double threat. Although the movie in its entirety I could take or leave, the concept was fun and interesting.
There's this introvert, unassuming guy, working for the man, a portrait of your everyday Joe. We see him, pretty quickly into the movie, retreat into elaborate day dreams. These fantasy's are so real to him that his physical body stops responding, as is seen by the people around him (first order). He is known at home, and now at the office, as a bit odd.
We find out later in the movie that what has spurred on these lapses into the alternate life of Walter Mitty is the lack of satisfaction he is experiencing in his most dominant reality. Dreams never came to fruition, lack of love, and a mild dissatisfaction with his job, keep him in this perpetual loop of day dreaming and shaming. Ironically, it is this retreat into the alternate reality that hinders him from reaching his goals in the latter (second order).
Finally, he is encouraged by the delusion of a woman that he is infatuated with at work to LIVE HIS LIFE--did I mention that he works for LIFE magazine? Coincidence, I think not.
He goes after a missing photo, and in the process has the adventures that he has always dreamed of.
Which came first, the action or the thought? The Mitty or the Walter? I digress...
So in the end, with a little help from Sean Penn, Mitty discovers that the LIFE he was searching for was in him all along.
I would be remiss if I didn't also add that this movie is a remake, the original is starring Danny Kaye in 1947. This was adapted from a short story by James Thurber in 1939