Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist

Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist

Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist

Despite lukewarm reviews I had high-ish hopes for this movie – at least in a stay-in-and-slob-out-feel-good-waste-of-time kind of way. Firstly it’s the kind of movie I’ve liked in the past – gentle rom-com with young attractive leads – and second I liked Michael Cera in Juno. So did it live up to my modest expectations?

Not quite.

It reminds me of those movies from the eighties that involve some kind of journey – Adventures in Babysitting; Blind Date; Planes, Trains and Automobiles; and even Risky Business. Here the MacGuffin is the quest for a secret gig by a cool on-the-up band. Michael Cera’s Nick and Kat Dennings’ Norah are on the hunt for this gig and along the way they share some fun, grow a little closer, there’s misunderstanding then… well you can guess the rest, it’s a rom-com right?

The leads are likeable enough but I can decide if the lack of spark between them is the fault of the un-inspired script of just that missing je ne sais quoix they call chemistry. The film also suffers from not really knowing what it wants to be tonally – there are elements of gross-out comedy, slapstick and as mentioned, following the leads’ strengths, a very gentle burgeoning teen romance. It never quite meshes but one would be expecting a lot to think that it might – I blame, as ever, the legacy of American Pie for that.

It’s also the fact that none of the necessary non-Nick, non-Norah scenes are that memorable or interesting. The obligatory comedy sidekicks are neither endearing nor outrageous enough. The funny set-pieces aren’t funny enough.

Perhaps notable is the sex scene, not for any lascivious reasons – it was reasonably discreetly done – but for message it conveyed. The idea that “it’s in his kiss” is used in many rom-coms – they use the song in Adventures in Babysitting – but this was the first time I seen a movie where “you’ll know he’s the one if he can give you an orgasm” was the message. And as this was – of course – their first mutual experience that’s kind of unhelpful and unrealistic. But it is the logical extension of what Hollywood has been saying about romance for years I suppose. I dunno though there’s room in the subtlety for a little more realistic fantasy.

5/10 – vaguely likeable, almost entirely unmemorable and done better elsewhere.


About shuggie

My name is Shuggie, Paul or LatePaul depending on where you know me from. I work in computers (databases) and occasionally write about softw
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