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Daydream Nation Trailer: Manufactured Whimsy, Counterfeit Comedy And The Art Of Film Trailer Manipulation

By Joanna Robinson | Trailers | April 8, 2011 |

By Joanna Robinson | Trailers | April 8, 2011 |

The film Daydream Nation features a fantastic cast: the luscious Kat Dennings, the better than that “Poor Man’s McConaughey” label Josh Lucas, and Reece Thompson, who you’ve only heard of if you’ve seen the great indie Rocket Science. Did you see Rocket Science? Good, then you know why I was excited.

Was? Oh yes, was. Because while the trailer presents a sort of whimsical slurry of Juno meets Charlie Bartlett meets the fun parts of Lolita (What? There are fun parts!), the truth of the movie, if you do a little digging, is something much darker in tone and content. While something dark is alluded to (is that a flash of Josh Lucas naked…with a gun…and…weeping?), the plunkety indie music and quippy dialogue paints a very different picture.

So what, right? We all know that a trailer is an advertisement. The best and most alluring portions of the film are cut together to sell us on the concept. Personally, I like a trailer that doesn’t reveal the entire d*mn plot of a movie for once. But when does “creative” advertising become “false advertising?” It’s one thing for advertisers to leave out a significant plot point, but when that point changes the tone of the entire film, well, that’s how you find yourself on Christmas Day at a screening of Marley And Me surrounded by squalling children who thought they were seeing Beethoven for f*ck’s sake. The most wonderful time of the year, my *ss.

So what, in your opinion, crosses the line? In regards to his Predators film, director Robert Rodriguez admitted, “A lot of my movies have trailer shots that I shoot just for the trailer.” We know anything can be recut to look like anything, but should it? Do you remember a trailer that duped you? Should I be more messed up than I am for reading “The Bridge To Terabithia” at the age of seven? That book and film, by the way? Not what is advertised below.

Joanna Robinson wants you to take one thing away from this post: see Rocket Science. Please, I beg of you. Then let her know what you think via email or the Twitters.

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