REEL 2 REAL: ‘Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist’

by Staff

Courtesy of Sony Pictures

“Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist” plays out like a high quality YouTube video.
A group of teenagers who haphazardly end up hanging out for the night, exploring streets of New York City in search of a very drunk friend and the secret location where their favorite band Where’s Fluffy? is playing.

Michael Cera, known for his reserved and hormonal character in “Juno,” plays Nick O’Leary, a lovesick teenager with a SuperCuts hairdo, who plays in a band called The Jerkoffs and makes mixed CDs hoping to win back his superficial ex-girlfriend.

Cera tends to play the same sweethearted, timid character, something that may be his crutch in the future if he ever tries to break away. But it is that real and unforced quality that makes him likeable and ultimately relatable. And his fans weren’t hard to point out in the audience, striding into the theater wearing skinny jeans, fitted T-shirts and worn Converse “Chucks” kicks.

Kat Dennings (“The 40-Year-Old Virgin”), plays the eccentric dark beauty, Norah Silverberg, who entices O’Leary after asking him to be her “boyfriend for five minutes” to prove herself to another student. This kiss catapults them into a journey of adolescent romance well into the night as they explore local live music venues and through their shared music experiences, fall in love.

The film speaks to teenagers today like “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” once did. Similar to “Nick and Norah” that iconic “80s film was about a single day’s journey where a city was the characters’ playground. Only instead of Bueller’s Chicago, this film was shot mostly throughout the night scenes of New York City as O’Leary cruises around in a beat-up, banana yellow Yugo, often mistaken for a cab.

Don’t go in expecting “Juno,” because “Nick and Norah” ultimately lacks the sort of depth that “Juno” embodied. But Cera does have a comedic timing stretching beyond his young age that makes it well worth the trip to see it in theaters.

“Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist”
Distributed by: Columbia Pictures
Directed by: Peter Sollett
Grade: B-