Review of Nobody Walks

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Co-written by "Girls" sensation Lena Dunham, this 2012 drama follows Martine (Olivia Thirlby), a 23-year-old artist from New York City, who stays in the pool house of a wealthy Los Angeles family to complete work on her art film. However the characters' worlds are quickly upheaved as lust, desire and deception come creeping into the seemingly idyllic setting. John Krasinski & RoseMarie DeWitt star as the married couple with whom Martine stays, while Justin Kirk and Dylan McDermott play supporting roles.
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A young couple stroll out of the airport to a car seemingly very in love, half ready to tear each others clothes off, before the woman reveals that the two are actually strangers who have just met on the plane. This is just about all the set-up you need for “Nobody Walks”, a movie that suggests any man and woman in the same room together is cause for sexual attraction. Lena Dunham, the young creator and writer of the HBO series“Girls”, wrote the script, something that makes sex so ordinary as to be boring.

Olivia Thirlby plays Martine, a New Yorker coming to LA to complete her student film with sound engineer Peter (John Krasinski), who is married to a therapist wife, Julie (Rosemarie DeWitt), with a stepdaughter named Kolt (India Ennenga). Soon Martine’s charms attract the attentions of both Peter and his assistant, David (Rhys Wakefield), while 16-year old Kolt has affections for David, a schoolmate (Sam Lerner) has affections for her, and there is also something uncomfortably playful about Colt and her Italian teacher (Emanuele Secci). As if all this isn’t enough, Julie also happens to be seeing a patient (Justin Kirk) with an eye on her.

All of this sexual attraction is contrived and artificial and at only 83 minutes, feels jammed together and listless. These people seem to exist on a different planet, where sex is as common as shaking hands and has any consideration of the risks. Dunham and co-screenwriter and director Ry Russo-Young create these sex situations but seem to leave the characters and their feelings out of it. Peter and Julie have a very confusing and curious marriage, one that seems open but might just be competitive considering how Julie reacts once finding out about Peter’s affair. I’m still not clear. Martine is supposedly a sexualized homewrecker but she seems desexualized and actually more damaged and emotionally vulnerable, an open book to anyone who will love her and just another person in this movie being manipulated by someone else in the hope of achieving sex. I’m not sure what “Nobody Walks” was going for here but it winds up being very little.