Movie Review: Daydream Nation

Rating: 2.5 Stars

MPAA Rating: Rated R for drug and alcohol use, sexual content, language and some violent images – all involving teens

Cast: Kat Dennings, Reece Thompson, Andie McDowell, Josh Lucas

IMDB Summary: Tells the story of a city girl who moves to a small town and becomes entangled in a love triangle between her high school teacher and a stoner classmate.


So, I’m currently running through the Indie movies I’ve been meaning to watch on Netflix. Some of them have been great, while others…well, there’s a reason you haven’t seen them on the big screen. I’m not saying Daydream Nation was the worst movie I’ve ever seen. But I spent a good deal of the movie looking like this:

And that doesn’t even really have anything to do with the less than reputable sounding plot-summary. There were moments in Daydream Nation that I really enjoyed. And if it means anything, I was planning on watching for only a few minutes before turning it off, and I ended up watching the entire thing. So there’s that.

Kat Dennings…I LOVE her as Darcy in Thor. I don’t remember if I’ve seen her in anything else, but I think she makes a hilarious and adorable sarcastic side-kick. At the beginning of Daydream Nation, I wasn’t fond of her. But as the movie went on, she grew on me. It’s not that she’s not a good actress, but she’s quirky, similar to how Aubrey Plaza is. She leads the movie admirably though, showing quite an acting range.

The teacher-student romance was weird. Don’t get me wrong, I ship Ezria from Pretty Little Liars. It’s not the teacher/student part that bothered me (in real life, YES, that’s gross and weird., no matter how hot/sweet teacher is)

Barry (Teacher-Josh Lucas) started out cool and intelligent and attractive. I could totally see how Caroline (Dennings) would like him. About twenty minutes later, after they started sleeping together, he turns into a complete nutjob. It was like all of a sudden, he was a completely different person. Crazy with a capital C-R-A-Z-Y. I’m convinced he was manic depressive or bipolar (I’m not a psychologist, so I don’t know the actual disorder). It was creepy. And the movie never really explained any of that. I’m still confused as to why he was so insane or what happens to him after. They kind of left it up in the air.

The heart of this movie is Thurston (sweet high school stoner) and Caroline’s relationship. Caroline works so hard to not like him, which I don’t get at all. He’s adorable and sweet, and yes, he’s going through a hard time, but his family is helping him and he just wants to be sweet to her. I wanted to slap Caroline for being such a jerk to him. Eventually she wakes up to the fact that teacher is crazy and Thurston is wonderful, but it’s a painful journey. This was easily my favorite part of the movie, the five minutes when they are together.

So there was this side story about a serial killer, but I have no idea what was going on there. I mean, I guess he was killing people and then by the end of the movie he was caught? I don’t really know. It was never really important and only mentioned in passing.

I guess if you’re a die hard Kat Dennings fan, this movie is worth the watch. It’s certainly an interesting film, however, I’m still not really sure what the main point of it even was.

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