Reviews & Previews - Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist

Posted on Friday, September 26, 2008 at 06:00 PM

Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist

By: S. Tran

Starring: Michael Cera, Kat Dennings
Directed By: Peter Sollett
Running Time: 90 minutes
Rated: PG-13 for mature thematic material including teen drinking, sexuality, language and crude behavior.

Like Juno, But Less Fattening

You can't be blamed if you thought this movie was a sequel to last year's surprising hit "Juno". From the hipster indie music soundtrack to the high school notebook doodling titles, this film reminds you of Juno before you even see Nick (Cera) or Norah (Dennings). This feeling of deja vu is just reinforced when we finally meet Cera who is back playing an awkward, yet sincere, music loving teenager.

The film centers around Nick, who plays in garage band with his two friends Dev (Rafi Gavron) and Thom (Aaron Yoo), trying to get over a break up with his girlfriend Tris (Alexis Dziena). He reluctantly agrees to go into New York city to play a gig and try and find out where the fictional and legendary band “Where's Fluffy” will be playing that night.

Norah is, of course, also a huge fan of the band and also makes it into the city to find the band. She is an affluent school girl of privilege but is still more comfortable playing mother and protector to her party loving friend Caroline (Ari Graynor) than being the center of attention herself. If I need to tell you that they eventually meet up you probably need to see more movies.

At this point after seeing Cera as the same character in three movies now I don't know if he is an amazing actor or the luckiest guy in the world for finding parts that require him to play himself. In either case, so far the act has not worn thin, he is a natural in this kind of role.

You may remember Dennings as the teen daughter in The 40 Year Old Virgin. Unlike Cera she gets to play a different character than she did in her prior film and shows us a bit of versatility in doing so. She's enjoyable to watch and is charming without being annoyingly cute.

The chemistry between Dennings and Cera is good for the most part. They are at their best during the initial fumbling scenes between them. When they move into the more romantic stages of the relationship we get a few more false moments, but they muddle through those just fine.

The story itself is well written and had the audience laughing quite a bit during the screening. The pace of the film was also good and at 90 minutes there are not a lot of wasted scenes. My only complaint would be that the friends of the main characters didn't have much to do in the film. Nick's friends are just exceedingly nice guys and Norah's friend is an exceedingly drunk, but very nice girl. There's no real depth to those characters.

At the end of the day while this film is very much like Juno in that it is funny and witty, it lacks the depth that Juno had. It relies more on the Hollywood formula and when I left the theater I didn't have that sense that I saw something really special. Just making your main characters offbeat or giving them an interest in alternative music does not mean that you have automatically created something groundbreaking.

Maybe its not fair to compare the two movies, but if that's what the producers were aiming for then maybe it is.

3 out of 5 stars.


NOTE: The showtimes listed on come directly from the theatres' announced schedules, which are distributed to us on a weekly basis. All showtimes are subject to change without notice or recourse to