Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Shuffle Play

Nick and Norah add to each others favorites.


I finally got around to seeing last year's big studio indie audience aimed teen rom com Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist. While I am well past the age of relating to teen films generally how could I resist a movie that features an IPod? At one point the IPod gets its own close up even. I can't resist that and that's why we're here.

Oh, the movie itself? It's pretty good. I'm not going to bother to look up who wrote or directed, the film strikes an amiable mood of youthful late nite vigor and precious moments of sweetness in the twilight. It has a playful visual image with soft focus city light backgrounds, stark florescent building interiors and dank sweaty clubs mixing together. Think Before Sunrise meets Road Trip.

It starts with bass playing Nick, who's hung up on his shallow ex-girlfriend who dumped him, meeting Norah who loves Nick's CD Mixes he burns for his ex though she has never met him before. They meet and Nick's gay band members agree that Norah might help Nick get over the ex so a date that night is engineered as they search for a band called Fluffy. Fluffy plays secret gigs around New York and are portrayed as the ultimate in indie rock cool. The band trys to take Norah's drunk as a skunk friend home but she escapes them, then usual teen movie hijink and will-they-or-won't-they fun ensues. Meanwhile both Nick and Norah's exes get involved with trying to win them back to add to the drama.

The comedy smartly plays to the edge of generic teen humor (drinking, puking and crazy misunderstandings) without overemphasizing keeping a slightly realistic feel going. Michael Cera as Nick continues his cottage industry of portraying geeky befuddled love struck guys and bounces well off of sleepy eyed Kat Dennings as the smart independent Norah. I have to admit to buying into the emotion of wanting to see these two characters get together which is always the sign of an effective rom com. The indie band heavy soundtrack gives a nice atmosphere though I couldn't tell you what band played what song at all. It did make me curious about these bands though (ITunes here I come!).

Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist stays to the middle of the road, stuck between it's mass audience intentions and indie spirit yearnings. A fun but slight comedy.

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