Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist

Starring: Michael Cera, Kat Dennings Directed by: Peter Sollett

When I was a senior in high school – and the summer after graduating – I spent a lot of weekends going to see local bands play.  I'd spend the last hour of checking groceries at the North Park Schnucks watching the clock, quickly count down my cash drawer at 9:30, then run upstairs to change clothes and layer on a ton of eye makeup and lipstick.  A quick 15 minute drive got me to the venue (usually a loft above an appliance store on Franklin Street), and then I just hung out and listened to the bands until 11:30-ish, as I generally had a midnight curfew.

Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist seemed like it would be a cute movie – the 'accidental romance' schtick, some good music, a concert and comic relief via the drunk best friend who gets lost in the big bad city.

First, I must say that Michael Cera's agent deserves a swift kick in the shins – this kid seems to be getting typecast as a guy with shaggy hair and skinny jeans who is either 1.) in high school moping over girls or 2.) barely out of high school moping about girls.  It might have been more enjoyable if I'd seen the movie closer to the 2008 release date and not within a few months of watching Scott Pilgrim vs. The World as I really felt like he was playing the exact same character.

Next, I think it is probably about time for me to stop trying to watch teen movies.  They were still ok about 10 years ago, but now I think I am too old.  At one point in the movie somebody is talking about it being 4am, and everyone is still driving around.  My immediate thought was "WTF, don't these kids have a curfew?!?!?"

Also, the music was not that good.  When the movie title has 'infinite playlist' in the title, I expect lots and lots of music.  Most of the music was in the background, and I only recognized two of the songs.  Again, maybe I'm getting old – but I wouldn't have to look very hard to find a better playlist.  In fact, I can think of several soundtracks – Singles, Dazed and Confused, Reality Bites, Mortal Kombat – that I would prefer to listen to versus this stuff.

I just expected more charming little 'I think I really like you' moments between Nick and Norah.  There were a few, but really it seemed like they spent more time arguing or running into their exes at various clubs than developing feelings for each other.

Despite all this, I did find a few elements to enjoy.  Kat Dennings good as Norah, and I went through the entire movie marveling over the awesome shade of lipstick she was wearing.  She seemed more like a high school student than Nick's manipulative ex-girlfriend Tris (Alexis Dziena) and had the right balance of vulnerable and fearless.  She seemed very down-to-earth despite a privileged background. Gum chewing party girl Caroline (Ari Graynor) was also pretty humorous if you didn't think about her character too seriously, as were Nick's bandmates Thom (Aaron Yoo) and Dev (Rafi Gavron).

The best part of the movie was in the special features.   The four-minute 'puppet show' version of the movie Kat Dennings created and narrates is hilarious.  I actually recommend that you watch this (or at least the first two minutes) instead – no queue needed.

Written by Jennifer Venson