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ReelTalk Movie Reviews
How To Disrupt a Family
by Betty Jo Tucker

Attention, happy families! Beware of a young, sexy female artist from New York. She might disrupt your supposedly idyllic existence. In Nobody Walks, that’s what happens to Peter and Julie after they invite Martine to stay with them in Los Angeles (where everyone drives instead of walking) while Peter helps her finish an art film about insects. To me, this sounds like the beginning of an intriguing horror or thriller movie -- but no such luck, folks. It’s just a tedious exercise in pretentious filmmaking, and it bugs me even to think about the time wasted watching it.         

Still, props to the cast members for trying their best. John Krasinski (It’s Complicated) always manages to be appealing on screen. He plays Peter, a sound engineer who agrees to assist Martine as a favor to his wife Julie, and his scenes involving adding sound to Martine’s film come across as the most interesting ones in this disappointing drama. Olivia Thirlby (Dredd 3D) is Martine, the 23-year-old femme fatale, and she looks the part except for her unflattering gamin-like haircut. Rosemarie DeWitt (The Odd Life of Timothy Green) appears quite believable as Peter’s wife Julie, a therapist struggling with her feelings about one rambunctious male client (Justin Kirk from TV’s hilarious “Animal Practice”).

Supporting actors Dylan McDermott (The Campaign) as Julie’s screenwriting ex-husband, Rhys Wakefield (Sanctum) as Peter’s handsome assistant, and India Ennenga (The Women) as Julie’s teenage daughter with a crush on that assistant, are also above reproach here. Too bad they have so little to work with in terms of dialogue and plot. That’s a big surprise to me, for acclaimed director Ry Russo-Young (You Won’t Miss Me) co-wrote the script with Lena Dunham (Tiny Furniture and HBO’s Girls).      

The entire film revolves around how Martine serves as a catalyst for change among the rest of the characters -- and not for the better. Her very presence evokes “lust, denial and deception.” Unfortunately, because there’s so little character development, it’s difficult to care about any of these people. And we have no idea what Martine is really all about. Like in her experimental film, we hear sound and see movement -- but there’s no soul shining through.  

(Released by Magnolia Pictures and rated “R” for sexuality, language and some drug use.)

For more information about Nobody Walks, go to the Internet Movie Data Base or Rotten Tomatoes website.          

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