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  • Let me start by saying I hadn't heard of this film until my girlfriend rented it (she's a film student at NYU). And judging by the cover and the title I had low expectations. So I was surprised to find a weird, funny, strangely beautiful movie wedged between the usual coming-of-age shenanigans. In a lot of ways it reminded me of my favorite writer, Haruki Murakami, in that the setting was banal but the plot (and I use that word loosely) was brimming with odd visual non sequiturs and tangents that were occasionally left dangling. There's a girl who has an affair with her teacher, a burning cloud of smoke, a killer in a white suit, a series of car crashes, kids who smoke everything in their kitchen to see what will get them stoned...the list goes on and on. But the thing is, it almost all works! It's almost like magic realism, albeit in a more grim, apocalyptic setting. So if you're someone who likes linear films, or films that follow all the rules, you'll probably not like this. But if you're like me and you get bored of seeing the same thing over and over, this feels pretty fresh. It definitely entertained me and stuck with me -- especially the ending. Oh yeah, and don't pay attention to the box. This movie has nothing in common with Juno or Donnie Darko (which is sci-fi, for Christ's sake). I have a feeling people latched on to that comment and let it color how they saw the story. So to sum up, I wouldn't recommend this movie to everyone, but I was moved by it and enjoyed its shaggy poetic qualities and erratic twists and turns.

    10/10 Lee
  • This movie was beautiful and surprisingly dark and potent. Basically a teenage girl, played by the slightly-too-old for the role Kat Dennings, arrives to a small town where kids keep getting killed, an industrial fire won't stop burning, and everyone does too many drugs. As someone who has spent time in some small American towns, I could relate to the feeling. Though obviously the director is playing with the conventions here and adding a layer of menace, melancholy and haze to the proceedings. So Kat's character decides to seduce her high school teacher, played by the under-rated Josh Lucas. They begin an affair and all is well, until he instructs her to pretend to date a boy her age so the local yokels won't become suspicious. Needless to say it's all a lot of fun--albeit dark fun--and things take some wild twists that suspend logic but are all the more enjoyable for it. I wish this movie had gotten the attention is deserves--was it even released?--because it's by far the best work Kat Dennings has done, and it's full of amazing images and sharp dialogue. Be advised: this movie is an art film disguised as a teen movie. It's probably too ambitious for its own good, and I can see why it might be passed over by many. But I think it'll be a cult classic and I was pleasantly surprised by the artistry that went into this little indie flick. Extra points for the powerful ending.
  • onlylists16 September 2010
    Kat Dennings's stunning performance just blew me away as a city girl who ends up in a strange small town for a year when "everything happened". She's funny and wry, and the next thing you know she breaks your heart. There's a lovely balance in this movie of humor and lyricism and incredible tension, and Dennings is just one of a number of unforgettable characters. Josh Lucas sneaks up on you with another original performance -- he's charming and despicable and hilarious. But the real surprise is Reece Thompson, who I'd never seen before, as a high school kid muddling his way through grief and first love. The movie looks amazing and the writing sings.
  • In a small town where teachers sit in front of apathetic kids in the classroom and teenagers have nothing better to do than find household items that might get them high, "Daydream Nation" sneaks in and takes everything by storm. Caroline (Kat Dennings) is new in town and it's not that she loves to cause strife or turmoil, but she's smarter than her fellow classmates and she's looking to define herself just as any smart, lonely teenager would do. This is the year that everything happens.

    With an industrial fire burning, a serial killer on the loose, and Caroline falling in love with her teacher Mr. A (Josh Lucas), the film sets up such a dark, mysterious, chilling atmosphere that you'll be drawn towards this town and these characters and then want to find a safe place to watch from.

    Some of these characters will break your heart from the very beginning, Thurston (Reece Thompson) is the quintessential awkward teenager, alone and confused and might be falling in love, and his best friend is gone. His single mother (Andie MacDowell) is in constant fear of keeping her kids safe. The other characters should be able to handle themselves just fine. These are the best written characters I have ever seen in a high school film (and yes, I have seen "Election").

    Mr. A is looking for motivation, Thurston is looking for love, and Caroline is just looking for something. This film takes those simple longings and puts them into something that looks and feels like a thriller. Originality is not to be feared. It should not be weird or off-putting; it should be celebrated. "Daydream Nation" is an edge-of-your-seat coming-of-age drama. These teenagers, plus a teacher or two, are just looking for love, acceptance, understanding and a purpose.

    For the first time in a long time, I had no idea where a film was taking me. I had no idea what they were trying to tell me, and I had no idea what genre it was supposed to be. But the unrelenting atmosphere, the incredibly well written characters, and the smart dialogue make "Daydream Nation" something you'll want to experience. Another reviewer compared this to "Juno", I was thinking of comparing this to "Heathers", but these filmmakers have their fingers on the pulse of something entirely different. They might play with your heart strings, and your blood pressure, but by the end you will be put back together.
  • astridmrkich12 September 2010
    This movie is wonderful. I just saw it at the Toronto International Film Festival, and it's great. Written and directed by a young, first time, Canadian director (although you would never guess that) and shot out in a small town in BC. The film is about a teenage girl, Caroline (the beautiful Kat Dennings), who moves to a painfully small town which she hates. There, she observes her fellow high school students get wasted on drugs out of boredom, and people obsess over a serial killer who has yet to be caught. She becomes involved in 2 very different relationships with men, out of boredom, and the rest of the film explores the insecurities that everyone, young and old, experiences in life. It is beautifully shot, with dreamlike cinematography, and has a great balance of both sadness and humour which reflects everyday life.
  • It's a rarity to see a contemporary film about a teenage love triangle handled with such nuance and humor... Mike Goldbach's heart-rending dialogue and dreamy directing style resulted in a delicious, hot, compelling, and generally stunning film. Not since Ghostworld has there been a film that so deftly captures the bleakness and existential angst of teenage life. The performance of Kat Dennings has a slyness that evokes Nabokov's Lolita. There's a twisted complexity to her wisdom that could have -- if handled poorly -- could have come across as contrived or cloying, but thanks to Goldbach's subtle writing, she's a wholly endearing character. The same goes for the rest of the cast. And the soundtrack is an indie wet dream. I cannot wait to see what he does next.
  • Whoa movie, you are sort of a hot mess! But I loved you for your style and your funny dialogue and the way you made me feel dirty and innocent at the same time. The acting was mainly very strong. But Kat, you should try to emote just a little more. However. I respect that you let yourself be such a bitch, and then opened up and made me feel for you. For awhile there you worried me, but you redeemed yourself nicely. Josh Lucas, anytime, anywhere, I'm yours. Blonde hair or not. Reece Thompson, I don't know who you are, but you have promise. In fact, I'd say you were the highlight here (not counting Josh Lucas's abs). In summary, I'm giving this movie a solid 8/10. Next time clean up your act a little and I'll give you an A plus.
  • msgbeeswax1 April 2011
    I saw this movie as a screener that my boss received (I work at a production company here in Los Angeles). It was the biggest surprise I've had so far this year: the movie was funny, sexy, romantic, and much much more weird than I would have guessed. The movie is all about Kat Dennings' character and what it's like to be a teen in a new town, at a new school, when it feels like the whole world is about to end at any moment. To this end, there's a huge fire burning just outside the town, and kids keep going missing. As if to distract herself from the hysteria Kat Dennings begins an affair with her teacher (Josh Lucas, looking great btw) and things go a little crazy and awkward and funny from there. Overall I really liked this movie and I thought it was refreshing -- dark, but not too dark; funny, but not the usual teen fart-joke humor.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    WHOA. That was the worst movie I've seen since Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist. Dennings just don't know how to pick em am I rite? The script seems to have been written by a melancholy, manic depressive 14 year-old with not a care in the world about a story that actually makes any sense. What's up with the serial killer? Nothing because it carries no relevance at all and adds nothing to the story. I'm sure the normal teacher we see at the beginning of the movie actually falls in love with the terribly one-dimensional, oh so witty teenage brat who wreaks of sex and pretentiousness. What's with our drugged up support lead teen boy? Well, nothing again because his character doesn't make any sense. His friend died? His sister is in love with some nerd? His mom's all over lover girls dad for 10 minutes? There is no coherency what so ever. Nothing that happens matters, or is realistic or is even that captivating. Plus, Dennings as the narrator? Come on, you should have her doing as little talking as possible in any film, it's too painful for everyone.

    I can't continue. It is so unbelievably frustrating how bad this movie is. It's just shameful.
  • This is the first time I put one star on the movies that I watched. I'm speechless with this movie. Yeah. Speechless with so many confused in my head. BLOODY HELL!!! What the meaning of this movie? With so many Story of... and I think ain't important for this movie. Romantic? Oh no! (I'm just excited when the little boy and girl sleep together with hand in hand it's so sweet. but JUST IT! the others? the main characters? HELL NO!) I hate the goddamn' bitch, slut or whatever she is (I don't care). Comedic? Hm... I wanna cry with this movie. Why? because I don't understand. I wanna cry because why I watched this movie. Very sorry. It's officially not funny. Dramatic? Officially OVER! and Over is always not better. I hate the heroine. I hate hm--I'm not sure who is the hero in this movie. But most of all. I hate this movie. Badly. Thank you.
  • At the risk of coming across as a patronizing adult who "doesn't understand!!!", do not bother watching this if you are older than 15. This is truly one of the worst films I have seen all year, in fact possibly ever. Perhaps it's just that, at the ripe old age of 40, I'm too old for "coming of age" movies - I didn't think so, which is why I gave this one a chance, but by the time the credits rolled it was definitely a case of wishing I had dedicated 2 hours to doing something else. Don't let the trailer fool you, it will deceive you into thinking it's an interesting, exciting, smart, sexy story when it's a collection of groan-inducing, contrived clichés, "set against a backdrop of an industrial fire". Did I miss something deeply symbolic with the fire or is it really just completely pointless?

    The acting itself is good (and nice to see Andie MacDowell again, where has she been hiding all this time?) but good acting can't save a story that sucks. Its one redeeming feature is the soundtrack, which is great.
  • yas_min8428 July 2013
    I think it was a nice movie to have fun for couple of hours and then forget about it. If you are looking for a relax time, i can recommend this movie. This is a teen romantic comedy that gives you exactly what you expect. They meet, they fell in love, nothing surprising or shocking but not cheesy. The performances are quite good,and the movie drag you inside but that's it. Don't expect anything revolutionary or inspiring except for having 2 hours fun.

    Actually, I realized only after the half of the movie that I saw this movie before. So, yes. I watch this movie twice just because I forgot that I watch it before. Long story short, it is a fun movie just to watch and forget about it until you watch it again.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    What the F..., I was right, I should have stopped watching this movie at 15 minutes. Here are some notes I took while watching this BS. 25 year old teen agers are cool. Drugs are cool, writer is a anti-Christ. Industrial fire, incest line, serial killer, science class drugs, hipster song track during pedophile sex, guns are evil Larry, Jesus Freaks are silly, bathroom slut with cool hip lines, converts another girl into a slut, drugs are still cool, hipster song sex again. Xmas party slut, metro sexual hair color, hipster song at happy ending. I guess this feeds the CIA propaganda. Looks like a lot of sheep enjoyed this. I searched it and it seems like this is a thought of as a good movie.
  • When faced with a movie that plagiarizes so transparently from such high profile and recent films of the same genre, all I can do is shrug. This film is a cut 'n paste of the biggest teen dramas from the last ten to fifteen years and seems to pride itself on that. You look at the poster and it's right there comparing itself to JUNO and DONNIE DARKO. Throw in a little THE VIRGIN SUICIDES and you've got all the ingredients, the makers of this film have nothing of their own to offer. It seems they just want to be applauded based on their taste in who they sample.

    On a technical level, the film is fine. The acting is decent, it's well shot and well scored. The plot mechanics are okay in that things are set up and developed and all resolved by the film's end. I was never bored or angry at the film. It's just that when I can spot the origins of every plot element and stylistic device as being ripped from a small pool of other films that are so well-known and so recent, I can't help but feel that I am watching a film with nothing to say and not even its voice in which to say it.

    Judged on its own, it's an okay movie. Nothing really rings true, but it also never really achieves any ambitious level of absurdity either. It feels like a cartoon trying to be deep or a thoughtful film trying too hard to make itself cute and quarky. Either way, huge portions of the film end up feeling insincere. The film takes on some serious issues and plot lines, but frequently backs down either through dismissive humour or by resolving those plot lines in an overly convenient way.

    Watching it, I generally felt as indifferent to the film as the main character seems to feel to the people around her who's hearts are getting broken and who are getting killed by serial killers.
  • My friends and I saw this in Palm Springs Film fest. Best teen movie I've seen in a long time. Hard to describe, but not at all like a regular comedy or teen film -- more surreal and druggy, but romantic too. Definitely best thing Kat Dennings has done (sometimes I like her and sometimes she sucks). Basically Kat's character moves to a small town and gets involved with her teacher and another student, but its not cheesy about it. Meanwhile kids keep disappearing. It had an awesome ending and was surprising. Super-stylish too with music that I actually like. I thought it might get super-dark but it actually was positive (not a spoiler). I know its a small movie but its hard to find information about it, and I've been telling friends its so good. Will it play in San Francisco?
  • A rebellious teenager is moved out of the big city to a small town, which she hates. The only person she seems to connect with and like is her teacher. She seduces him and they have a fling. Things get complicated when a young man at her school takes a liking to her and she doesn't realize that she also likes him.

    That's the best way to describe this confused film. Daydream Nation has elements that work, but it seems that too much was thrown together for it to feel like a completed and strong narrative. I found that the big city to small town element wasn't raised enough here. It's the catalyst that makes her do the things she does, but it never fees as big an issue as it should. Daydream Nation has many of these things that should be more prominent.

    There are a lot of subplots that try to bring more depth to the town and the story. There is something about a serial killer roaming the streets killing young girls as well as some chemical fire that has people wearing masks. These are odd little things that ultimately have no baring on the bigger picture. It would be nice if handled properly, but it feels more like a distraction.

    Kat Dennings plays the confused slutty girl. She puts on a face that she is powerful and in control of things, but behind the scenes she is a scared little girl. When another classmate calls her a slut, she laughs it off and then goes on to belittle the other girl. Showing us that those words have no power over her, then once she is alone, she cries in the bathroom stall. She's human, confused and needs guidance, but she won't admit it.

    Josh Lucas plays the teacher who is exactly like Denning's character. He gives a calm and intelligent manner on the surface, but underneath he is needy and a coward. The slow reveal of this character is great and Lucas really plays the oddity of this weirdo well. Reece Thompson plays Thurston, the young boy that likes Denning's character. He is a pothead who saw the death of one of his friends, so he's not all there. Another character that is scared and doesn't know where to go with his life. The difference is that he doesn't hide behind a confident demeanor.

    One of the quotes for this movie compares it to Juno and Donnie Darko, as if David Lynch were to direct it. Well, it's not that weird. There are mentions of the end of the world, which did remind me of Donnie Darko, but that's about as far as it goes. I had a Dazed & Confused vibe from it, minus the decade/coolness/party vibe that Dazed and Confused has. Daydream Nation is a film that has too many things going on, it confuses itself as to what story it wants to tell.
  • luvsails7 September 2013
    As painful as it is awkward, this is one movie I will not be watching again. This title wants so desperately to be something it's not, which is profound. While aiming to be the next American Beauty meets Juno, it plays out like the novel of a smarmy teen who just KNOWS that he's smarter than anyone else and that's why he's unpopular. One saving grace is the performance of Reece Thompson, who handles his performance as a tormented, burned-out druggie deftly. On second thought, Andie MacDowell is also a high note as a relatively flat character but refreshingly sweet and supportive mom. Still, I'd give this movie a pass.
  • DAYDREAM NATION – CATCH IT ( B+ ) When was the last time you saw something and wished it never stops? Daydream Nation is one of those coming of age movies, which seems so real and beautiful that you want to watch it for longest you can. The director has nicely incorporated coming of age drama with serial killer on the loose and industrial fire burning. Daydream Nation takes us to three different kinds of lives. Firstly into a young city girl (Caroline) who moves to a small town with her dad but unable to adjust with local teenagers as they are not as smart or intellectual like her. Secondly, a lonely druggy boy (Thurston) who thinks, he never got anything right and always looks for something good to happen in his life. Thirdly, a 30+ male teacher (Barry), who seems perfect from outside but is all broken from inside as his life doesn't turn out the way he hoped for. The collision of these three unlikely lives in the backdrop of serial killer on the loose and industrial fire burning is "Daydream Nation". Kat Dennings gave an honest stealer performance, she made her character realist and believable. It's amazing to see her bringing humor, sorrow and bitchiness to the character with so much depth. Reece Thompson has always done something unusual and indie movies lovers defiantly know him from Rocket Science with Anna Kendrick. Reece Thompson defiantly surprised me yet again; he was naïve, emo & druggy who is falling in love for the first time. Josh Lucas is always the pretty man who gets the girls easily, even this time it happens but it also shows the other side of the perfect looking man. In supporting cast Andie MacDowell, Rachel Blanchard, Ted Whittall and especially Landon Liboiron were impressive. Overall a gripping coming of age movie, which will leave a good long lasting effect.
  • This is just one more in a long line of boring, filmed-in-BC, movies-with-a-message. Don't believe all the four- and five-star fake reviews from the cast and crew; it is formulaic garbage. Like everything else coming out of BC these days, it uses one has-been actor (Andie MacDowell) and a bunch of 25- and 28-year-olds, playing teenagers. There is not one believable scene in the entire movie, and - like every other "message movie" "stalker movie" or "murderer movie" out of BC - it is 99% talk talk talk.

    Examples. Wanna get your actors to appear edgy? Portray them hotboxing in a stranger's dad's van. Wanna see what the term "phoning in your performance" really means? Watch Andie MacDowall, who very obviously did this one only for the money.

    Typical CBC/Lifetime boring movie, made by too many actors and crew who spent too much time hotboxing and not enough time writing, directing, filming and acting. If you keep waiting for this movie to get better, trust me; it never does.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I just love that villain from DC comics doomsday he is awesome just like the hulk who is my most favorite hero ever in marvel comics when i saw this film that name keep popping up in my head that why this film is called daydream nation it should be called doomed nation because of the things female lead character was doing i wished this movie would finish so i could do other work but no i kept watching this only for Kat Dennings she is one actress that i really like other then that this film is below average & a mediocre attempt nothing more.

    The Plot:Caroline Wexler just moved from big city to a small town she is a lovely girl who goes to high school but finds her teacher attractive & handsome then starts a sexual affair with him also Thurston is a guy who likes Caroline this starts a conflict which will be very hard for Caroline to deal with.

    The character of Caroline Wexler has no moral values or self respect & code the teacher had no fault in this he fell for her,all she do is complain about everything instead of helping out others & having sex with random people,behaves like a slut most of the time,one thing i hated was why Caroline was even with Thurston he was a complete looser who cant trust a girl second Barry Anderson was the only guy who deserves Caroline & she dumps him.

    The Cast:all of the actors were nice to see but Josh Lucas & Kat Dennings do their best despite the bad script,pointless dialogs.

    May i ask why this was not a soft core movie the makers were so desperate to strip Kat Dennings naked but she is just one beautiful lady the audience wont like it hence they gave her a bad role which i say she nailed it perfectly.

    Overall if you love Kat Dennings like me then Daydream Nation 2010 is for you my rating is 4/10.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    The moody Caroline Wexler moves from the big city to a small town where the kids do a lot of drugs and are inbreed losers with 6 toes. The story at times is third person, at other times Caroline narrates. She tells us of a tale of a girl in school who worked as a stripper until 2AM then showed up for school and took extra classes. The football team, she tells us, would heat up quarters and throw them at her while she walked through the halls. A "serial killer" (dubbed a serial killer after first body was found) kills the girl and they find marks of heated quarters on her legs.The waste dump fire and serial killer were under utilized as metaphors/symbols.

    After her death, it appears the overly mature Caroline is the prettiest girl in school. She seduces her teacher and a classmate. As time goes on we discover the teacher has the persona of a psychotic character portrayed from his own novel and has developed an unhealthy need to continue his relationship with Caroline.

    The movie makes clever use of juxtapositions to create humorous scenes. There are also slow scenes and slightly annoying first person narration. The soundtrack was fairly lame. The climax scene is supposed to be a culmination of the scenes building up upon each other. In an indie, it is not necessarily predictable, but it is at least metaphorically or symbolically part of the movie. This one was not. It was a complete let down and a lack of closure by the writer. Want to watch a clever indie, try "Chumscubber."
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Daydream Nation is a film that I very much want to like, in fact, I'd even call it a guilty pleasure. Believe me, something about this film is charming. It has a nice atmosphere, style, tone, etc. Daydream Nation knows what it's trying to be. That alone is what keeps me from giving the movie anything higher than a three. Aside from the charm (and a few subtleties involving a man in a white suit) the film didn't really offer much. One of the main ideas the movie offers is identity, we hear a lot of Kat Dennings' character talking about how no one knows the real her, however, us as the audience never even know. The most we learn about her is that she moved from the city and her mom died. Who is she other than that? What does she do besides have sex with guys and then confuse them? The same goes for the teacher character, Mr. Anderson. We don't learn anything about him until it's time for him to be irrelevant. Moving on to the screenplay... well, it certainly isn't good enough for the film to be carried by as much narration as it is. There are a few missed opportunities to incorporate some playful or charming banter between characters so that we could get to know them, but instead this is usually replaced by sex or awkward small talk. In the end the film does have a certain charm to it that leaves me feeling drawn to it, but I can still definitely recognize that it's not "technically a great film".
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Yes, it's about young people~ but young enough that i'm curious about what's changed and what's stayed the same in this late, Mood-Swept generation; what they think about; how they feel about the world they're inheriting. This story is told from the eyes of an Out-of-place, Precocious high school co-ed who moves from the City to Hicktown, USA, "where there's more incest than in an Atom Egoyan movie". She's a Serious type; In her Cultural Moment, Motherless, No one to Love, who is questioning her values, the meaning of Life and Death, society, and the social Games We Play. Here, she plays mostly with drug seeking, disillusioned teenagers. She engages in a promiscuous affair with Josh Lucas' character, her teacher, come home to roost and zap some reality into the quotidian travails of Disaffected Youth.

    There's a story arc regarding a Serial Murder Mystery.

    Whilst at first we are guided on an almost nostalgic, plot less, soporific remembrance of feeling alone in a group of people, the all too real consequences of some bad choices made by good people whips the dénouement into a Frenzied affair.

    A reviewer compared the Voice to a 'Juno- by David Lynch'...or a Shinier Donnie Darko.

    Indie, Natch.

    Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose...

    A refreshingly Un-Obnoxious soundtrack, with a nice Cover of CSN&Y's 'expecting to fly'.
  • This Mike Goldbach guy really has my attention now as writer and director.

    I can see why folks are comparing both the director and film to a mix of Richard Kelly meets David Lynch.

    Kat Dennings is great as always and so is her co-star Reece Thompson.

    The story could be a bit controversial at times for some folks but I found it to be an overall really impressive, moving film.

    There's even some great references to other films that seem to have inspired the writer / director Mike Goldbach.

    It's worth mentioning that this film is getting a limited theatrical run starting in NYC and Los Angeles on May 6th.

    The film will be released shortly after that on both Blu-ray Disc and DVD by Anchor Bay (a Starz company) come May 17th.
  • I don't remember how i came across this movie but i think its because of some guy who has rated this movie in his blog. it was included in some list of his 'best movies of the year' or something. anyway i read the synopsis which was interesting and decided to give it a try-- "BIG MISTAKE". this is the first time that i got this urge to go and write a review for a movie. yes, its that much of a waste. i had seen much much worse movies but i never had this much hate. maybe its the dumb storyline , maybe its the crappy dialogues, maybe its the lifeless characters. no way, this movie deserves above 5 or even any rating in IMDb. i don't know how to describe my emotions after seeing this movie; hate, regret, resent, stupid or nauseated. so please please avoid this movie and spare the regrets, nausea , hate or whatever. rating 0/10
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