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Thoughts on "Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist" . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Monday, October 06, 2008

Worth Full-Price, Matinee or Rental: Matinee or rental. You won't be too disappointed to pay matinee prices for this one, however, it fits the criteria of an excellent rental as well, which is probably the best choice.

Will I Own It On DVD: Doubtful. Maybe if I ever found it in the Best Buy $4.99 bin, then I might pick it up.

1) If you're in a relationship, then you will make movie trade-offs, and since the next film I'm going to see is "Body of Lies" with Russell Crowe and Leonardo DiCaprio blowing things up, shooting guns and likely a bit of torture, anyone who has a problem with "Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist" can piss off in the interim.

Now, back to "Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist" . . .

2) I do occasionally enjoy checking in on teen movies to see if they compare to classics such as "The Breakfast Club," "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" and "Better Off Dead." When they are done well, this genre provides a fair glimpse at teenage life in that particular time period which can be semi-interesting the further you get away from those years.

"Nick and Norah" is a solid addition to this genre as it boasts an appealing cast, and an endearing - if overly familiar - story about finding someone special during one long night in the city when things are going sideways.

3) I loved Michael Cera in the TV show "Arrested Development" (possibly the funniest sitcom ever made) and really enjoyed his work in "Superbad," however, his shtick of awkward pauses and sheepish minimalism is starting to wear just a little bit. You can still root for him to succeed in "Nick and Norah," but I'm ready for him to get more assertive with his acting.

Kat Dennings plays the cool, indie-music loving catalyst who meets Cera and causes him to re-think whether he wants to get back together with his ex-girlfriend. Dennings has a casually intelligent presence that is neither too glib or too sentimental and she turns in a fine performance that helps propel the movie along.

4) Since a large portion of the film is set inside New York City music clubs, it's no surprise that the soundtrack is impressive. I'm generally not particularly impressed with the hipster music scene, but the score for the movie was pretty good.

5) "Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist" gets better as it goes along, and reaches the conclusion. The film starts off a bit heavy-handed, and falls into a trap of telling and not showing the audience the character traits of the protagonists. It's one thing for characters to say repeatedly "You're the coolest chick" or "You're perfect," but the movie really finds its footing as it progresses and those characteristics are shown through action and dialogue.

Overall, "Nick and Norah" is a nice film that doesn't try to do too much, yet also avoids or at least minimizes the clich├ęs of this genre. And while it doesn't vault itself into the upper ranks of these films, it does remind you that searching all night for a band, locating a drunk friend and trying to hook up are still entertaining.



  1. Heff Says:
  2. Hmmm. I was expecting complete suckitude from this film.

  3. JLee Says:
  4. First of all, you can just admit you wanted to see this movie, you don't have to make excuses. ha
    I thought this looked really good and like Cera, although I agree about the schtick getting old (I think after Juno I was tired of it) I may catch the matinee next week...

  5. It just completely depends on your expections I think, and whether you like this genre at all. It wasn't nearly as grating/unwatchable as I've seen from a lot of them (most of which I've watched about five minutes while flipping channels late at night).

  6. Jlee - Flew past you in Cyberspace. I'm sticking to my story. Ha. And a matinee with low expecations will probably serve you well as I enjoyed it even though it wasn't a great movie.

  7. Hipster music; I'll pass on this one.

  8. Gypsy Says:
  9. Well I'm due to see Beverley Hills Chihuahua this week so it's got to be better than that right? I really have to start going to see grown up movies again....

  10. JLee Says:
  11. Gypsy, I saw "BH Chihuahua" Saturday and it was pretty good! lol

  12. WhatIgot - I know, I know, but his wasn't too bad. I generally find that scene very irritating.

    Gypsy - I'm not sure . . . BH Chichuhua got some fairly awful reviews, and generally "Nick and Norah" have been pretty good. That being said, they are different audiences. Ha.

    Jlee - I'll avoid any bad dog puns here. Ha. It was the #1 movie this past weekend.

  13. Well, I won't be seeing BH Chi, so I think I'll add this to my list. The rain has begun in Seattle and it's time to start restart my Satursday Movie Days again.

    "Religulous" is at the top and I may balance it out with N&N.

    Heff's "suckitude" made me laugh.

  14. Miss Ash Says:
  15. Never heard of it.....again *sigh*

  16. BostonPobble Says:
  17. This is one that Timber has wanted to see (one of those trade-off about which you wrote) and I have been dreading. I'm dreading it less now. Thanks.

  18. Anonymous Boxer - This would be a decent entry into that Saturday movie session (and definitely better than BH Chihuhua). It was a solid teenage flick with reasonable characters, which helped it considerably.

    Miss Ash - That's OK as this is not that big a movie, so you might miss it. I only heard about it fairly close to the release date, so . . . these things happen. Ha.

    Bostonpobble - If you keep your expectations low, then this one might be a pleasant surprise in the trade-off category. Just remember the genre as Nick & Norah don't exactly re-invent the wheel.

  19. I almost watched this last weekend, but went to see Appaloosa instead. I'll use this movie as 'date night' fodder instead. (Assuming I can get a date.)

  20. Native Minnow - I bet Appalossa was good as I plan to see that one too. Nick & Norah would be a good date movie as it's fine for you, and would work well for most females. At least that's my opinion, which could be horribly wrong.


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