Director and star Ben Stiller turns James Thurber’s classic short story about a hapless daydreamer into a dashing adventure comedy.
Previously filmed in 1947 with Danny Kaye, this new version is a briskly entertaining, glossy, globe-trotting romp with some excellent CGI effects.
Stiller is ideally cast as the hero, here a magazine photo editor, whose job is under threat and whose crush on colleague Kristen Wiig inspires him to invent outlandish scenarios in which he wows and woos her.
But then he’s plunged into a real adventure and taken out of his comfort zone to trek to Greenland, Iceland and Afghanistan in search of an elusive photographer (Sean Penn) and a missing negative that is to be the magazine’s final cover shot.
Yes, all of this does rather seem to miss the point of Thurber’s original but, if you take the film on its own terms, it’s a feelgood delight.