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  Publicity Stills of
"Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist"
(Courtesy of Columbia TriStar)

Genre: Romance/Drama
Director: Peter Sollett
Cast: Michael Cera, Kat Dennings, Ari Graynor, Jay Baruchel, Rafi Gavron, Aaron Yoo
RunTime: 1 hr 30 mins
Released By: Columbia TriStar
Rating: NC-16 (Sexual References)
Official Website: http://www.sonypictures.com/movies/nickandnorah/

Opening Day: 11 December 2008


"Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist" is a comedy about two people thrust together for one hilarious, sleepless night of adventure in a world of mix tapes, late-night living, and, live, loud music. Nick (Michael Cera) frequents New York's indie rock scene nursing a broken heart and a vague ability to play the bass. Norah (Kat Dennings) is questioning pretty much all of her assumptions about the world. Though they have nothing in common except for their taste in music, their chance encounter leads to an all-night quest to find a legendary band's secret show and ends up becoming the first date in a romance that could change both their lives.

Movie Review:

If you were to compile a playlist of songs to either wallow in self-pity, or to try and express your feelings after a breakup, what would your selection be, and how many songs will you include? While the title might suggest something that's infinite, in actual fact it boils down to a select number of indie (or at least to me) songs that make up one eclectic movie soundtrack (gleaned from 12 volumes that the titular character Nick puts together), and I guess any self-respectable teen movie got to have a soundtrack with wide appeal.

The story tells of two individuals who didn't exactly have the best of luck when it comes to relationships. For Nick (Michael Cera) it's to suffer the indignity of being treated like a play thing by his ex-girlfriend Tris (Alexis Dziena), who cheated on him from the onset. For Norah (Kat Dennings), it's the realization that her last name might have become a liability in not knowing if her special someone came after her with some ulterior motive. So Fate would have these two total strangers meet at a club, and for wanting to get out of a situation with some pride salvaged, Norah approaches Nick to pose as her boyfriend, for all of five minutes and a kiss shared between the two.

At the goading and encouragement of his gay band mates, Nick and Norah spend the rest of the night engaged in some pretty decent conversation, appreciation and the realization that they actually hit it off, especially with their common taste in music and their hots for the band Where's Fluffy, which is in town for a performance at some secret location that fans have to decipher from clues to make it to the performing venue. That quest, as well as the search for her missing drunken friend Caroline (Ari Graynor) who really embarrassed herself courtesy of a cursory toilet humour moment, become the main thread along which personalities develop and start to engage the audience. You'd come to realize that certain cliches will inevitably find itself waltzing into the narrative without much effort. Boy meets girl and boy loses girl pretty much sums it all, as do the moments of deliberation when both find themselves with the opportunity to get back with their ex-es, or to take the leap of faith with someone they come to know in a single night. Such is the tussle of the heart. Michael Cera is probably in danger of being typecast as your average geeky and meek teenager, no thanks to similar roles in Superbad, Juno, and Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist makes it three in a row, which I think he could have played it with his eyes closed. Kat Dennings street smart and lovable Norah might seem like a pale cousin to the tough talking Juno, and I thought that the obligatory villain Tris as played by Alexis Dziena had a lot more spunk and hiss at appropriate moments to make her one real b*tch.

Still, it makes for a fun movie to sit through, one that should appeal to your inner teenager reminiscing your loves then, filled with its fair share of quirks now amplified for this movie. A good dose of comedy and caricatures painted pretty much on the supporting characters also helped to keep things breezy.

Oh yeah, for those curious, Everything But The Girl's Walking to You and Missing (The Todd Terry Club Mix) from their album Amplified Heart would make it to my playlist, together with Dirty Vegas' Days Go By and U2's With or Without You, just to name a few offhand. What about yours?

Movie Rating:

(Not your instant classic teenage romance comedy, but memorable instead for its eclectic soundtrack)

Review by Stefan Shih


. 21 (2008)

. Drillbit Taylor (2008)

. Juno (2007)

. Across the Universe (2007)

. Music and Lyrics (2007)

. Superbad (2007)

. Driving Lessons (2006)

. Charlie Bartlett (2007)

. Accepted DVD (2006)


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