Scott Marks 3:30 p.m., Dec. 24
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
James Thurber's nigh-unto-perfect short story about a little man with big daydreams gets the therapy-culture treatment from director and star Ben Stiller. No more flights of magnificent fancy as a means of coping with mundanity. No, now it's time to break the shackles and make all your dreams come true. Daydreaming has gone from the panacea to the problem — the thing that keeps us from Really Living. Stiller plays the negative asset manager (admittedly, a hilarious job title) at Life magazine as it prepares for its final print edition. (In a high point, Stuart Dryburgh's cinematography makes Life's offices look like the greatest place you'll never work. Everything else looks pretty good, too.) When the negative for the cover photo turns up missing, it's up to Stiller to spring into action, transforming from schlub to stud in the process. How happy do you like your endings? With Kristen Wiig, Sean Penn. 2013.