Sunday, October 12

Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist review

The creators of this movie had said they wanted to portray teenagers how they really interact and talk. Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist serves just that. Based on a book by David Levithan
Rachel Cohn. Director Peter Sollett drew from his own experiences when making the film. The film takes place over one night in Manhattan, where a number of New Jersey teenagers have commuted in for the night—something Sollett was familiar with and often did himself. The movie of course stars Michael Cera (Superbad, Juno, "Arrested Development") and Kat Dennings (The 40 year-old Virgin), set and filmed in New York city.

It's a good movie and worth a look!

Spoiler Alert
Cera plays Nick, the usual M.O. for Cera, a lovable geek, but he does it so well. He conveys so much emotions and thoughts with his face, in one look. Nick has been dumped by Tris (Alexis Dziena), who looks like a doll muppet. I saw this movie with my friends but there were lots of teenagers in the movie, the majority who were girls. Just like seeing a Pixar movie and the little kids won't shut up, the teens wouldn't. Plenty of straight guys shouted out that Tris is hot, maybe too hot by Nick, maybe that's what she believed. Nick makes these mix CDs for her with awesome cover work and she doesn't appreciate it. She goes to a private catholic school where Norah gets the leftover CDs. Her best friend Caroline (Ari Gaynor) is more friends with Tris that Norah is, Norah and Tris are more like frienmies. When I first saw the trailer, I thought Caroline was played by Tatum O' Neal, I thought she was like a sister or aunt Norah had to take care of it. But no, Ari Gaynor is a delightful newcomer.

Nick is in a band of the genre of queercore, which I don't know if it was mentioned in the actual movie because it was hard to hear with the audience. Queercore is a subcategory of Punk. Basically he is the only straight guy in a group of gay guys. Dev (Rafi Gavron) is the lead singer and both he and Thom (Aaron Yoo) are Nick's best friends and try to encourage him to get out of his funk. They all love this band called Where's Fluffy? and throughout this movie, they search for this elusive band who will perform in a exclusive location. Where's Fluffy? is bunny related. Rafi Gavron is British and his accent slips here and there, his character Dev has a delightful love interest in Lothatio "The Beefy Guy" (Jonathan B. Wright), who doesn't speak much but is a important plot point. Who doesn't speak much either is Tris' new guy Gary (Zachary Booth). Needless to say, Norah tries to show off Tris and kisses Nick, without knowing he si her Nick.

Nick's friends love Norah so they help her get with Nick. It has been pointed out that it takes a gay guy to give a mini-makeover to Norah, but it doesn't feel like 'a gay man is telling a woman how to dress.' The gay characters in this movie are treated with respect and are just not like the flashy goofy gay guy friends. Watching this movie in a audience of teenagers was interesting, when Dev gave Norah a bra from his collection of women's clothing, a girl screamed out. "Oh! He's gay! Oh wow!" Like she didn't notice they were in a gay band or that earlier nick said it was hard being Straight in a funny in-joke. "Guys, you don't know how hard it is being straight." Dev and Thom looked at each other knowingly. I also like how Dev picked up Lothario, he asked Nick to ask his name and he said it would be whatever he wanted it be. In fact, everyone in the movie was hitting on Nick. There is too SNL-ers in the movie: Seth Meyers, one of the guys who mistakes Nick's car for a Taxi and Andy Samberg as a creppy bum who hits on Nick.

Also through the movie we heard a girl say, "I wish I had a gay friend." Like if we are handbags, an accessory.

So the bandmates offer to take the drunk Caroline home but loose her. So the plot becomes Nick and Norah looking for Caroline and also for Where's Fluffy? As Nick and Norah get to know each other, half-way through the movie in comes Norah's ex Tal (Jay Baruchel). It is hard to understand or even appericate their short but cool names because of the noise in the audience. Jay Baruchel, who played a nerd in "Undeclared" and Knocked Up, plays a total jerk in this movie. Here is a big spoiler, Norah is the daughter of a record producer and Tal still has a hold over her as they are 'friends with benefits' but in the end, what breaks the straw on the camel's back is Tal wanting Norah to give her father his demo CD and wants her to get rid of his club bill. And there is one infamous scene that makes the whole crowd go wild. It starts with a woman in the bathroom. No cup. And it ends/continues with a peice of gum that makes it from person to person. The scene itself was so disgusting I could not look at the screen for probably three or five minutes.

Also, John Cho makes a small cameo in the movie, he is best known as Harold of Harold and Kumar go to White Castle. Funny enough, Aaron Yoo auditioned for that role.

So Nick and Norah are both drawn to their exes and in the end, you want them to get together and you know they will, because it is Hollywood, but it doesn't matter about it. It is a sweet smart movie. It doesn't make any of the exes into full-blown villains. Sure Tris and Tal do villainous things, the whole audience cheers when Nick leaves Tris in mid-dancing tease to go to Norah and when he window wipes her kiss on his windshield. Also, there is a subplot about Norah not be able to get her orgasm. The communication and body language between characters are interesting too, they feel real authentic. Now, one problem I have with this movie is that it happens all in one night and acts like Nick and Norah are meant for each other, but it can almost be a one night stand! They only know each other for one day. It would have been nice to see how they progress after a year or so. There's always a sequel. or maybe this movie is too perfect to have one.