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Enjoy Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist

Published October 3, 2008 in Movie Reviews
By Fred Topel | Image property of Screen Gems
Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist PosterNick and Norah's Infinite Playlist
Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist is High Fidelity for the iPod generation. It's not as F'ed up but it's about romance and music so that's my metaphor.

Review: Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist


Nick (Michael Cera) is a heartbroken musician who spends an evening getting to know his ex's friend Nora (Kat Dennings) as they search for a secret concert. Nora's wandering drunk friend, Nick's bandmates and their own insecurities keep things developing throughout the night.

This movie is so cute. They're not pushing anything. It's just sweet behavior. There's nothing outrageous. It's all just mellow moving through situations, and every minor act has such a heartfelt motivation. Making exes jealous is not even spiteful, it's just helping pals out.

There's a little grossout stuff, but it's not outrageous, and it's the most disgusting grossout I've seen since probably the American Pie movies. It comes out of the real situation, not just dumping heaps of sh*t on somebody.

Even the drunk chick is adorable, and I hate drunks, especially the comic glorification of drunks. This one just seems so harmless and adorable.

This is the opposite of all those evil manipulative romantic comedies. Some of those are cool, but golly, it's swell to see this kind. This is the warmth to which all romantic comedies should aspire.



There's a happy awkwardness between all the characters. There are some Swingers-painful moments of Nick bringing up his ex. Nora keeps putting herself down like she's not as pretty as Nick's ex, and that just breaks my heart. I understand the conventionality of his ex and she's the skinny little doll, but Nora is SOOOO gorgeous and many other guys would agree. The sad thing is, if we tell a Nora that, she'll either think we're lying, or think we're stupid because we honestly don't see how ugly she is. Oh, Nora, just let down your wall and let us in!

The film has the adventure of License to Drive and Dazed and Confused with all the events throughout the night.

It addresses sexuality with innocence. Now, I like frank confrontations of sex, so it's surprising I like this perspective. I may still say that Superbad is more real, but this is a nice fantasy.

It's actually a simple three act structure but it feels natural. If I didn't know movies and story structure, I would think it broke the mold. It actually makes the mold feel like it's just the way things should be, and that's when you know it's working.

They even have a scene that's something I thought about all my childhood. This is the second time a movie has fulfilled one of those. The other childhood fantasy scene was in Shoot 'Em Up (launching himself through the windshield). We can discuss this one later, when it's not a spoiler.

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Fred Topel
Sources: Image property of Screen Gems
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