TRAILER: Daydream Nation Explores Kat Dennings's Sonic Youth

Kat Dennings's played "gleefully out-of-control" in Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist, but that movie seems like a much more benign tale of teenage fervor compared to what's happening in her new movie Daydream Nation. Sleeping around? Seducing teachers? Let's crank up the Rihanna and watch helplessly as this good girl goes bad.

Once you forgive the twee tropes like the bike rides and twinkly music, it seems like Daydream Nation could have more on its mind than the average high school drama. Identity and self-worth are mainstay issues of the genre, but there's an unsentimental approach to Dennings's role and a command to Reece Thompson's role that makes me optimistic. She displays an offbeat confidence that, frankly, you'd expect from a character who looks like a hybrid of Megan Fox and Michelle Trachtenberg -- but it's still novel nonetheless.

I don't quite understand the "Juno as directed by David Lynch" angle yet, because the only thing abstract about this movie (so far) is its focus. Is this about falling in love? Never falling in love? Doing naughty things for the thrill of it? Debunking what's considered naughty? It's all kind of muddled and quiet. I'm in based on the promise of sly humor and daring, but I hope the movie makes good on its array of potential points and doesn't settle for a traditional arc of teen follies, self-discovery, and a pat resolve.

Verdict: Hoping for a more sinister type of Adventureland.



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