Film Review- Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist (2008)

“Every night has a soundtrack,” one of the taglines read, and no, this isn’t really a hipster flick. This is an unlikely romance and a night of teenage shenanigans for a group of New Yorkers, and it’s not as cliche as you’d think. There’s some twist and funk to this vibe. Based on the novel of the same title by Rachel Cohn, this romantic-comedy begins with a nice guy (Michael Cera) attempting to leave a decent voice mail to his ex-girlfriend’s phone, in hopes of rekindling the sizzle that was almost never there to begin with. And so the opening credits roll on to the sound of “Lover,” by singer/songwriter Devendra Banhart, and that won’t be the only time you hear some indie music (woohoo). Though I have to admit, the soundtrack to this film is one of my favorites, behind Les Miserables, of course.

Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist official poster

Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist official poster

The film carries on, and it turns out that this nice guy, Nick, is a little music wiz himself, mixing CD’s for this girl he believes will take him back, only to have her trash them at first glance. These CD’s end up falling into the hands of Norah (Kat Dennings) who has adored the tracks that her “not really” friend has been ignoring. Soon comes the plot: there is a secret concert happening that night in the lower Manhattan area by a band called, Where’s Fluffy? putting Norah and her friend Caroline right into the search in the city’s club/concert scene. Nick’s band has just taken a break off stage that night and Norah encounters Tris, Nick’s ex. I really gotta appreciate this character, Norah. She comes off straight edge and becomes very likable as the movie unfolds. She’s that smart, beautiful girl that often goes unseen. In a desperate attempt to impress, Norah walks up to Nick at the bar, not knowing who he actually was, and asks him to be her boyfriend for 5 minutes.

You can probably see where this is going at this point. Director Peter Sollett’s film has an indie scene backdrop which is somewhat pleasant if you’re into that. What really pulls the movie with such a plot through is this young cast. It’s driven by these emotions as they deal with curiosity, a plastered and lost friend, a beat up Yugo, and the love of indie rock. It’s cute, I’ll admit. It’s not the best of films, but I love it because in the end, you accept these characters and their flaws, and you sort of smile at this odd coupling of youngsters and their time in the lower east side of Manhattan.

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