AVClub: “Talk to people, it’s good for you!” Bill Bryson’s wife, Catherine, tells him early in A Walk In The Woods, as they attend a funeral he wanted to avoid. “I don’t like talking to people,” he grumps back at her. And so the film’s theme is established, in a way appropriate to the rest of its content: in the most graceless, blunt, tell-don’t-show way possible. Bryson, a successful non-fiction writer who uses humor to address science, travel, and linguistics, is portrayed in the early going of A Walk In The Woods as utterly humorless, a curmudgeon wrapped up in his own sullen mind. And it doesn’t help that everyone around him—a TV morning-show host who asks Bryson dim-witted questions, a sporting-goods salesman played by Nick Offerman in a cameo, the miserable widow at that funeral—heightens his disaffection with the world by being immune to any cranky jokes he does make. The film version of Bryson is a self-absorbed jerk, but then, so is everyone else in the film. No wonder he wants to get back to nature, and away from people, by hiking the 2,200 miles of the Appalachian Trail.