Nobody Walks contains an ensemble of characters that very few audience members will be familiar with unless they come from the film’s particular privileged and artistic sphere of existence. The impossibly sexy and talented Martine, played by the actually sexy and talented Olivia Thirlby, is a photographer and filmmaker from Brooklyn who has created an experimental black-and-white film about insects to play on a loop during her first solo gallery show. Martine flies out west to seek help from Peter, a Hollywood sound designer, in creating the soundtrack. Peter is played by John Krasinski and husband to Julie, a therapist played by Rosemarie Dewitt. Their family life, which includes two kids and Julie’s rock star ex-husband Leroy (Dylan McDermott), seems nearly perfect. However, Martine’s arrival at their gorgeous, sunny mansion shakes things up quite a bit, as she promptly seduces everyone around her, including Peter.
Not a single character in the film is likable or believable, least of all Martine. Thirlby is charismatic and cute, to be sure, but even she is not nearly talented enough to make the stock character of a manic-pixie dreamgirl by way of Williamsburg interesting enough to build a whole film around. Nonetheless, the other characters of the film grovel at her feet as though they have never seen a girl in skinny jeans before. Martine toys with them in order to get her film done, then seems shocked when people grow angry with her. Krasinski is too inherently likable from his stint as lovelorn Jim Halpert on The Office to be believable in such a despicable role as Peter. The best scenes of the film are those between Julie and her screenwriter patient, played by Justin Kirk; his strange sexual obsession with her and Julie’s suppressed desire to return his attentions deserve better than to play second fiddle to Martine. Julie is the most compelling character in the film because she is the only one with a job that does not involve the arts; rather, she tries to understand the strange whims of those who do.
Nobody Walks was co-written by director Ry Russo-Young and Girls creator Lena Dunham; when one realizes that, the improbable, unlikable characters and and their bizarre impulses make a little more sense, though that is not enough to make Nobody Walks a good film. Rather, it is another entry in a long line of indie pictures determined to alienate an audience that is not wealthy, in the film industry or both. Films like this are hailed by people who live lives like those portrayed in the film; the rest of us will simply want these self-important characters to stop whining, stop cheating and shut up.
DVD SPECIAL FEATURES
Nobody Walks on Blu-ray includes Martine’s finished short film as well as interviews with Russ-Young and Thirlby, a featurette by pop culture outlet AXS TV titled “A Look at Nobody Walks,” a trailer and a deleted scene.
"Nobody Walks" is on sale January 22, 2013 and is rated R. Drama. Directed by Ry Russo Young. Written by Ry Russo-Young, Lena Dunham. Starring John Krasinski, Olivia Thirlby, Rosemarie DeWitt .