In the new film ‘Nerve’ Emma Roberts plays Venus, a practical, timid young woman who seems to have trouble showing up for herself but is challenged one day by her best friend Sydney. This challenge leads her to participate in a game of dares known as ‘Nerve’.
At first the dares are fairly daring but not too extraordinary, but the stakes rise and they rise fast after she meets the handsome Ian, played by the adorable Dave Franco. The Watchers of the game take a liking to their pairing and continue upping the challenges for them both. It isn’t long until the line is crossed and the game becomes one of survival.
Nerve is a fast paced tale of suspense that at times strikes a very real nerve. Roberts and Franco have excellent chemistry as Venus and Ian and the stunt set pieces come at you with a frenzied energy and make you feel like you’re along for the ride as well. As the night progresses, Venus finds herself on a journey of discovery as she realizes she’s stronger and braver than she, or her best friend, ever gave her credit for. They manage to attach a real and deep relationship between Venus and Sydney that plays out organically and with great truth. The story itself seems to tease a more complex one which is perhaps found in the novel upon which this movie is based, but as it is now it’s an expertly woven morality tale that, I think, says a lot about the hive mind of the social media of today. It reminded me of the days of ancient Greece and their gladiatorial combat. Two warriors pitted against an opponent for the amusement of the masses. Nerve shows that even when you just watch, you’re still a part of it.
Audience: I should have known with a movie like this there were going to be audience issues. First, the two girls who sat behind me would NOT SHUT UP. They kept whispering and chattering to their reactions to everything on-screen. Secondly, there was a group of douches in the back who also enjoyed disrupting the auditorium with their nonsense. They were trying to snag someone else’s seats before the movie began but got booted out right away. They adjourned to the back row where they seemed to carry on their own little drama. This generation knows so much, yet common courtesy seems to be missing from their skill set.