Walter (Ben Stiller) is a shy fellow in his thirties who would like to date his new co-worker Cheryl (Kristen Wiig), but his frequent daydreaming is an obstacle to his intentions. They both work for Life magazine. Walter manages the photo negatives that are chosen for each cover. However, their jobs might be at stake since the company is ending the printed editions and transforming the magazine into an all-digital format.
Walter has worked for Life for 16 years and as a gift of appreciation, photographer Sean O’Connell (Sean Penn), sends him a wallet with the magazine’s motto printed on the leather. With it, O’Connell also sends him his most precious photograph, the negative numbered 25, which he believes must be the cover of the last printed issue. The problem is that absentminded Walter can’t find it anywhere while the date for the release is approaching and a new pedant boss, Ted, (Adam Scott) is breathing down his neck.
Running out of time, Walter dares to ask Cheryl for help in locating the aloof photographer wherever he may be in the world. When she locates O’Connell somewhere in Greenland, a hesitant Walter travels there hoping to solve his enigma. Then and there, his greatest adventure begins and his daydreaming disappears.
Walter begins to remember who he was when he was younger and recaptures what he lost on his way to adulthood, finding more on this journey than the negative # 25. On his return, pleasant surprises await him.
Besides the spectacular scenes showing Walter’s wild imaginations, the movie also shows beautiful vistas from Greenland, Iceland, and Afghanistan. Nevertheless, this 2013 film’s importance is in the message that conveys: the best journey is the one that leads you to find yourself.
(Not to be missed: a touching scene with David Bowie‘s A Space Oddity in the background).
Ben Stiller not only directed and acted, but also infused his usual humor in many details of this story and its most important scenes.
See also with Ben Stiller: Duplex (2003), Meet the Parents (2000), There’s Something About Mary (1998)
See also with Kristen Wiig: Welcome to Me (2014)