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Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist (2008)

October 14, 2009

5/10 Jersey Hipsters

Eh, sweet but forgettable.

Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist is about a heartbroken kid with great taste in music that runs into a girl at a club who also has great taste in music and happens to hate the ex-girlfriend this kid can’t stop crying about. Over the course of one chaotic night in New York City trying to track down the locale of their favorite band’s secret show, Nick and Norah learn to grow.


It’s nice and all, but the thing about Nick and Norah is that it really has nothing new to bring to the table when it comes to romantic comedies, especially the ones that are trying to really, really hard to be the next Juno. It’s a story about growing up and moving on, but it’s the same old story we’ve all heard before. The whole thing is just very unspectacular, to the point where you kind of wonder what the point of it all was.

I don’t know, it just felt like I was watching normal teenagers be painfully normal around each other. There’s nothing very unique about them, you wouldn’t really want to hang out with them because there’s nothing all that special about them, and the whole time I was watching it I couldn’t help but think, “This feels just like a mediocre night out I would spend with my own friends, only it’s not as funny and I don’t know these people. I should go hang out with my friends more.”

And, yeah, it tries to be funny but it doesn’t really work. Smiled here and there, but can’t say that I laughed. There are two amusing bit cameos by Seth Meyers and Andy Samberg from SNL, but other than that, meh.

The story is okay, but you don’t really care about where the secret show is located, you don’t really care whether Nick is going get over his ex and shack up with Norah, and you don’t really care about any of the other problems that are going on aside from all this drama. Look, I’ve had crazier, funnier nights in NYC just in the past two weeks. Nick and Norah definitely could have used a good dose of believable debauchery and a heightened sense of humor to make an all-nighter in The Big Apple seem as wild as it actually is.

I guess the redeeming aspects here are Michael Cera, Kat Dennings, and that it avoids being a bad movie by being nothing short of ordinary. Michael Cera plays Nick as the same nervous, endearing, hopeless romantic role that everyone knows him for, but since I like Michael Cera and think he plays that role well, not gonna knock him for it. One day he’ll branch out and it will be glorious, just you wait. And Norah here is played by Kat Dennings, who I only know from her bit role as Catherine Keener’s daughter in The 40-Year-Old Virgin. But hey, she’s pretty good here, too. Probably the best character in the movie actually, but that’s not something to go crazy over. They both do a good job of coming off as very believable because it seems like all they had to do was just be themselves, which is fine.

I didn’t not like Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist, it’s just…there. Don’t see myself going back to it anytime soon, probably won’t be recommending it to anyone either, but not a waste of two hours by any means. Nice to see movies that appreciate quality music at least.

16 Comments leave one →
  1. October 14, 2009 12:51 am

    My problem with the film was the gum in the toilet scene. The movie taught me that if you have one overly-dominant gross-out scene in a film, it doesn’t matter how many other nice, funny, or poignant moments were in the film, you’ll walk away remembering the gross-out moment. Bummer. I’d give the film a 7.

    • October 14, 2009 7:30 am

      I totally agree. What was up with that? That’s a scene right out of Trainspotting. Wasn’t expecting that from Nick and Norah. Good call.

  2. October 14, 2009 8:56 am

    I actually liked it a lot. Thought it was sweet, and that the Nick & Norah had some pretty good chemistry together.

    The only thing that baffled me, was that for a story with the words “Infinite Playlist” in the title – there is precious little talk of music.

    • October 14, 2009 9:42 am

      Yeah, I agree. Seemed like they listened to some pretty sweet music, too. Needed some more of that.

      • October 14, 2009 10:21 am

        No kidding. Like the moment where she talks about how she likes him despite the fact that he digs The Cure, and gets into how she thinks a band named The Cure is all pretentious…why couldn’t we have had more of that?

        Then again, I thought the joke about being one arm short of a Def Leppard cover band was pretty friggin’ hilarious!

      • October 14, 2009 10:23 am

        Lol, I actually didn’t catch him say “one arm short” but that is pretty good.

      • October 14, 2009 10:27 am

        I was in an audience full of teens, so I think I was the only one who heard it and/or got it. As such, I was treated to the awkward moment where I was the only one in the whole theatre laughing.

        Just my big booming laugh coming from the back corner, while a few hundred necks crane to see the nerd laughing at something no one else got.


      • October 14, 2009 10:35 am

        Hahaha. Be proud, that’s what happens when you listen to good music while everyone else is hung up on the Jonas Brothers. They don’t even have a drummer.

  3. October 14, 2009 1:47 pm

    Buy the soundtrack! The only thing this film will be remembered for is that it’s like the Sixteen Candles for the facebook generation. I also liked how the gay people weren’t portrayed very stereotypically like they could’ve been so it was actually good to see something new for a change. Yeah very forgettable film, but not horrible but not good it’s just right in the middle. I did this too! Good review!

  4. Branden permalink
    October 14, 2009 2:15 pm

    Thank you! I saw this film and I felt the same way. They marketed it to be next Juno. It certainly was not.

    Michael Cera is getting on my nerves now. I wish he would play a serial killer. Something. His shtick is getting old… fast.

    I thought the movie was focus more on the music Nick and Norah would bond over ala “Once” but it’s generic tween fluff.

    • October 14, 2009 2:59 pm

      Definitely no Once. Gotta review that, what a great movie that was.

      And I agree, Michael Cera desperately needs to play a serial killer.

  5. mcarteratthemovies permalink
    October 14, 2009 3:41 pm

    Am I the only one who really, REALLY could have lived without the sisterhood of the traveling gum plot?

    That said, I do like Kat Dennings a lot. But tell me IN WHAT UNIVERSE she’d be considered the plain chick! Why oh why can’t movies be like real life, where homely girls who take off their glasses are just homely and can’t see?

    And another question: Where are all the parents? And does Michael Cera own anything other than hoodies and vintage cargo pants?

  6. October 14, 2009 4:01 pm

    Wow…quite the dialogue goin’ on here! Who knew there’d be so much vocal ambivalence.

    @ M Carter… “…Why oh why can’t movies be like real life, where homely girls who take off their glasses are just homely and can’t see?” Thank you so much for breaking up my rather tough day with a rather good laugh!

  7. Nahuel permalink
    October 15, 2009 3:15 am

    I’m sorry, this movie was just plain terrible.. I hated myself every second I had to waste watching it, if I didn’t have to sit there and watch it, I would have left after the first minute…

    Just a terrible, terrible movie

    • October 15, 2009 7:29 am

      Hahaha, wow, man. Harsh words, thank God I didn’t give it a 6.

  8. October 20, 2009 3:18 am

    I think I like this blog 😉


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