Caroline (Dennings) moves from the city to a backwater town with her dad. She soon discovers that many of the teens there are uninspiring and perpetually stoned. Using all her charm, Caroline seduces her school teacher, Mr. A. (Josh Lucas). Simultaneously, Thurston, Caroline’s class mate, falls head over heals in love with her despite Caroline’s indifference towards him. All the while a serial killer lurks around killing youths inhabiting the town.
Goldbach’s ode to youth is a dreamy haze of incoherent, indie pretentiousness. The characters are too fantastical with Caroline exhibiting far too much attitude and hipness for a seventeen year old. The serial killer angle is hacked onto the script to give it a ‘Twin Peaks’ weirdness but it just feels forced and unrelated to the story. Mr. A. is unbelievable as a character. He jumps into bed with Caroline all too easily and then transforms into a blubbering idiot running after a silly seventeen year old girl without enough character development to make such a choice plausible.
‘Daydream Nation’ pretends to be deep, wry and sardonic but like so many indie films it never makes any real artistic contributions; instead it piggy backs on former works like ‘Donnie Darko’ and ‘Twin Peaks’ to bolster its credentials and ends up being about nothing but a jumbled mish mash of ideas. You may enjoy it if you loved ‘Juno’ but don’t hold your breathe.