Title: NOBODY WALKS
Director: Ry Russo-Young
Screenwriter: Lena Dunham, Ry Russo-Young
Cast: Olivia Thirlby, Rosemarie DeWitt, John Krasinski, India Ennenga, Rhys Wakefield
Screened at: Review 1, NYC, 9/27/12
Opens: October 19, 2012
As a matter of personal taste I would have to say that Olivia Thirlby is miscast as a sex symbol that acts as a catalyst, throwing a nicely functional family out of orbit. As Martine, she attracts men like the ants in her own movie project to honey, yet with a page-boy haircut, this short, 23-year-old character looks more like a boy than anything resembling a hottie.
“Nobody Walks,” which gets the title from the fact that Martine is the only person in the L.A. community who does not drive and is dependent on others for transport, is nicely photographed with good lighting by Christopher Blauvelt. This puts a glow on the terrific house owned by Peter (John Krasinski), who gets gigs adding sound to film, and his psychotherapist wife, Julie (Rosemarie DeWitt), who is eons more alluring than Martine.
Thirty-year-old director Ry Russo-Young, whose previous works include “You Won’t Miss Me,” about a 23-year-old urban misfit released from a psychiatric institution, shows the ways an allegedly sexy visitor can cause mayhem within the confines of a well-to-do couple with two lovely kids, encouraging even a sixteen-year-old to begin experimenting with her potential power over men.
“The Office”’s John Krasinski, who couldn’t play someone unlikable for an entire film if he tried, is nice enough for most of the way until he becomes not so nice. The mayhem starts when Martine (Olivia Thirlby) arrives in L.A. from New York eager to get Peter to put sound on a film about insects. The ants on the screen procreate, and since life follows art, we note that Martine begins her visit to L.A. being hit upon by the guy driving her from the airport, later attracting the attentions of David (Rhys Wakefield), who is Peter’s young assistant, then Peter himself, and even 16-year-old Kolt (India Ennenga) who wants nothing more than to cuddle up with this mysteriously alluring guest. One must wonder why Peter, whose wife Julie is far above Martine in looks, sophistication, and self-knowledge, can even look at Martine as an object of his lust. Not that Julie is sexually chopped liver to others, as she is hit upon by Billy (Justin Kirk), a screenwriter patient who’d like to get his shrink on the couch, nearly succumbing to his charms largely because she has become jealous of her husband’s affectionate actions with Martine.
Some side roles are spot on, including that of Marcello (Emanuele Secci), a 45-year-old who is tutoring Kolt in Italian and of Avi (Sam Lerner), a dorky classmate of Kolt whom the latter kisses just to see what the fuss is about.
Rated R. 82 minutes © 2012 by Harvey Karten, Member, New York Film Critics Online
Story – C+
Acting – B
Technical – B+
Overall – B