2012 Twin Cities Film Fest: Nobody Walks Review

Lena Dunham is responsible for creating the fantastic HBO drama Girls and yet she also holds credit as writer of Ry Russo-Young‘s Nobody Walks, an indie drama that cracks under its own pressure and provides the audience with one of the most uncomfortable ways to spend an hour and a half. Olivia Thirlby and John Krasinski star in this misfire of epic proportions that makes me question Dunham’s ability as a full-length feature writer.

Peter (John Krasinski) and Julie (Rosemarie DeWitt) are married and sort of happy like most couples. Peter is big into his work, which consists of audio mixing and general production in his own little studio. His relationship with his wife isn’t on the rocks or anything, but it certainly feels like it’s lacking that oomph that so many young couples have.

Things get much worse when artist Martine (Olivia Thirlby) comes to stay with them for a short period while she finishes up her film with the help of Peter. Almost instantly tension is created between the free-spirited Martine and the bored house husband Peter as their musical collaboration quickly becomes something more complex.

Nobody Walks is Ry Russo-Young‘s hour and a half tease of a film that dabbles in a lusty affair, but never commits to it or anything for that matter. The film sets up the affair quickly and cleverly, using sound as a way to further the story, but almost instantly the incident happens where you’d think the film would switch gears and start building towards an eventual conclusion, but it doesn’t.

Martine and Peter’s guilt oozes out after their first sexual encounter, but everything that follows is simply anti-tension that collapses on itself. The then likable characters become sacks of sorrow as John Krasinski‘s Peter goes from being a young and hip guy with a cool job to just another selfish and insecure asshole that thinks he wants an affair for relationship reasons, but really only wants it for the thrills it provides his thrill-less life.

Olivia Thirlby‘s Martine is conniving and manipulative without even trying to be. She’s also an uptight snobby mess of a girl that not a single soul can or should be able to get along with for more than five whole minutes. Her initial beauty might bring you close, but her hipster vibes will surely send any sane man packing, which is why Peter is clearly drawn to her.

Ry Russo-Young attempts to balance these two piece-of-shit characters with lots of extended sequences of soundless activity or an acute moment of extreme attention to the faintest of sounds. It’s a weird balancing act that never quite works itself out and feels more like a failed experiment than an actual film.

The film itself feels shallow and empty, with the only lasting sound being complete nothingness. Nobody Walks is a time-waster that constantly teases, but never delivers. It’s surface-level bullshit that attempts to be “artistic” or “different” by mixing the film’s recycled high school-level written story with sounds of all variety.  I’m still trying to figure out how Lena Dunham could have written this moist and awfully smelly piece of shit. Hopefully season 2 of Girls doesn’t share any similarities with this wretched and mostly tedious piece of work.

Nobody Walks – 5.5/10

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