Sundance 2015: ‘A Walk in the Woods’ will have you running for the exits


A Walk in the Woods
Written by Rick Kerb & Bill Holderman (adapted from the memoir by Bill Bryson)
Directed by Ken Kwapis
USA, 2015

A Walk in the Woods is like a nice, warm blanket.  One with a plaid pattern that’s been sitting in your granny’s attic so long it smells like a mixture of mold and “old person” because she only takes it out when the grandkids come over to visit every summer during the State Fair and it’s too hot to use a blanket because she never bothered to get air conditioning after the old box unit overheated and melted down that one wall outlet …

…which left a black stain on the wall that you and your little sister used to pretend was a bear when it got dark outside because the lighting was so bad in the living room that you would stub your toes on the vinyl-covered sofa where that mangy cat slept while granny watched “her stories” on the old television that only got three channels and had imitation wood paneling on the side and a giant mess of coaxial cable behind it since granny refused to move her television across the room to be closer to the only coaxial port in the entire house because granny thought it was silly to have more than one television in a 3-story, 12 room home…

…only two rooms, of which, had any furnishings beyond rickety rocking chairs and giant 6-foot mirrors that were stained by cigarette smoke from back in the day before granny’s emphysema got too bad for her to smoke, even though everyone knows that she still smokes through that little hole in her throat, which used to gross you out until you saw her blowing smoke rings out of it at the last 4th of July picnic when Uncle Beemer got totally drunk on cheap hooch and started shooting at deer in the garden while granny was yelling at him that “someone will call the police, you stupid hillbilly!”

…which they totally did, but it was only Officer Millwood, whom everyone in town knew was a raging alcoholic that used to erase people’s speeding tickets in exchange for a fifth of Wild Turkey, which grandpa offered him when he showed up at the house, but he ended up just drinking a few beers and shooting at the deer, too, which didn’t sit well with you because deer are so cute and they remind you of the time that grandpa took you and your older brother out hunting, but you both made so much “goddamn racket” that grandpa got aggravated and dragged you back to the house so everybody could watch reruns of The Andy Griffith Show

…even though he’s seen every episode so many times that he already knows exactly what’s going to happen and how Barney is going to screw up the case by being a complete numbskull who would never pass any sort of standardized exam to become a policemen, which means he knew someone inside the Mayberry police force who got him a job, recklessly endangering the public’s safety and eroding the fragile trust between citizens and law enforcement.

If you’re still reading this diatribe, I guarantee you will find it more entertaining than reading a detailed breakdown about the generic, boring slog that is A Walk in the Woods.

So… did I ever tell you about the time that Uncle Pete accidentally drank tobacco juice?

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