"Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist" Review

Originally published in the OCCC Pioneer on October 3rd, 2008.


Michael Cera was undoubtedly great in “Arrested Development.” He also was great in “Superbad” and “Juno,” but it’s safe to say he played essentially the same shy, aloof character in all three projects. In “Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist” Cera once again plays that same character, only this time it’s in a mediocre movie.

If the title didn’t make it completely apparent, “Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist” focuses on two teenagers. Nick is an aspiring indie rocker who can’t quite get over his ex, and Norah is a lonely rich girl who is constantly being ridiculed and taken advantage of by her friends.

The entire film takes place in one New York City night, and tells the story of Nick and Norah’s crazy adventure in finding Norah’s best friend. Along they way they are all trying to find the location of their favorite band’s secret performance. During the course of the night, they run into Norah’s pseudo boyfriend, see Brooklyn band Bishop Allen and even check out a drag queen show.

The filmmakers seem to be aiming for a sort of “After Hours” for modern teens, but director Peter Sollett is no Martin Scorsese and the film falls way short. It is littered with terrible romantic-comedy clichés, bad gay jokes and tasteless gross-out humor.

Indie rock is a prominent part of the film, but it never really feels authentic. It’s doubtful the filmmakers really care about the music they are featuring. Instead, they seem to just be using it for the sake of marketing. The indie rock angle helps obscure the fact that this is really just another bland teen comedy.

If you, like most of the film’s targeted teen demographic, aren’t expecting any sort of originality and are OK with the obvious homogenization of indie rock, you’ll probably enjoy the film. But for everyone else, it’s a no-go.