When it comes to any kind of festival related season, the public at large have a perceived idea of what kind of movies to expect. A particular favourite plot of some of those is the ‘Have someone new and unlikable disrupt a family of characters, also not very likeable and ruin their lives in one shape or form’ where it mostly involves rich, well lived families who live normal lives until someone comes in and ruins it, also happening to be rich and well lived. See The Kids Are All Right as an example of what is disliked about this kind of story and ‘genre’.
You’ll be pleased to know that Nobody Walks continues this tradition.
Martine, a film student creating what is quite possibly the most pretentious and up itself film idea possible, arrives from New York to the family of Peter and Julie, played by The Office’s John Krasinski and Rosemarie DeWitt respectively, who along with their kids Kolt and Dusty, Dusty being the boy and Kolt as the girl, live a privileged, liberal household where they somehow can afford a pool and give Kolt an italian tutor since Julie is a therapist and Peter is a film editor and thus the reason why Martine comes to visit.
What happens next is pretty much the most expected thing you could write for an indie liberal drama. Martine starts having sex with Peter along with Peter’s assistant David and then their life starts to fall apart. Except their life does not fall apart enough to really justify all the melodrama that goes into it which is weird to say considering Peter is cheating on his wife with a girl he barely knows and works with but there does not even feel like a reason that it happens. The marriage between Peter and Julie seems fine and they both live good lives, it’s just that suddenly Peter just wants to have an affair. That’s it. Everything around it, everything after it, goes the way any of these things goes. The family is ‘changed forever’ and everyone is ‘affected’ by Martine and it’s all some kind of ‘East Coast/West Coast’ differential thing.
The weird thing about it is that the acting in general is fine. Krasinski brings a lot to the role he has and makes his character rather interesting along with DeWitt and her subplot with a screenwriter played by Justin Kirk that just ends and the kids are fine and that regard, it feels fine. It is just that what they are given to play off of is just not deep enough to build a connection with. The kids go to school, Julie goes to work, Peter works with Martine and then suddenly stuff happens. You do not get a sense of why this is happening or how it is happening, it just happens and then we are supposed to care when, in another subplot in the movie, Kolt does not get to say how she feels about the older David as Martine is dating him. There’s too many of those little subplots that both go nowhere or lead to a flat conclusion outside of the main ‘Have an affair with hot broad for no good reason’ plot.
Nobody Walks is mostly full of forced plots, unlikable, unrelatable characters and just simply feels there. It’s the kind of movie you see too many times coming from studios that think they’re quirky or deep and meaningful but turn out to be uninteresting and leave you with no reason to care about anything going on. These kinds of movies are to the American Independent Movie scene what a flat, uninteresting blockbuster is to Hollywood.