a review: nick and norah's infinite playlist
  • FRIDAY, OCTOBER 10, 2008

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At first, I was kind of scared going in that Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist was going to be a cheesefest. I'm one of those people who approach new Michael Cera projects with a tiny bit of skepticism. I mean, here's a guy whose characters have never really deviated from the George Michael mold he crafted during his early days on Arrested Developmentanything outside of "lanky awkward teenager" would be a radical departure for him. However, each and every time I end up leaving the theater with my doubts proven null, and I'm always either a) fighting to stifle the giggles (yes, giggles), or b) misquoting the funny stuff along with every other person walking out (you do it too). Michael Cera may not have a diverse acting portfolio like other Hollywood leading guys, but that's okay. His strength lies not in pulling off a linear character, but being able to pull off that character to absolute perfection. He's like the Charlie Chaplin of geeky heart throbs.

The movie itself is about a "typical" night on the town by a bunch of rock and roll teenagers living in New York. It's sort of a love story, but sort of not. It's pretty much one fourth romantic comedy, one part buddy pic, one part "crazy night on the town", and two fourths indie music (more on that in a bit). Kat Dennings delivers a phenomenally non-cheesy performance as Norah, the quintessential "quirky independent girl" who'll have every nerd in the blogosphere writing confessional love blurbs (Marry me, Kat!!!). The cast of characters goes on to include a gay thrash band, some Jewish rappers, a drunken party chick, and a handful of other New York typecasts in a comedy of errors that'll provide a nice steady flow of awkwardly fun comedy.

As a bonus, Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist is like an "I-Spy" for your eyes (if you live in New York) as well as your ears (if you like good tunes, which is why you're here to begin with). Keep your eyes out for NYC stompin' grounds like Union Pool in Billyburg, The Bowery Ballroom, St. Marks, and (Baeble's hood!) the West Village.

The soundtrack (yah, there's a bit of that) is a stellar ensemble of indie's upper echelon. Baeble heavyweights like The Shout Out Louds, The Raveonettes, Vampire Weekend, Devendra Banhart (who makes a cameo), and Band of Horses are all there for your audio checklist, as well as some refreshing talent like Takka Takka and Richard Hawley. As far as movie soundtracks go, this is by far the best one of the year. (Shameless Plug: While you're at it, check out some of our concert footage and music videos in our vids section. Seriously, it's good stuff).

Anyway, if you have even an inkling of desire to watch this movie, by all means do. While predictable at times, this year's Juno it ain't. Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist provides intelligent and fun humor accompanied by a fantastic, feel good soundtrack well worth the listen. - chris gayomali


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VIDEO: The Raveonettes:: Live at Maxwell's - Hoboken, NJ
VIDEO: Shout Out Louds:: Live at The Spiegeltent - New York, NY

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