movie thoughts: Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist

I think I enjoyed this movie a lot more than I enjoyed the book, but not because the movie was anything really special.  In fact, it might be because the movie wasn’t trying too hard that is the reason I liked it.

I read ‘Nick & Norah’ for Great Books a couple years ago and thought it was an okay story.  The gimmick was that the book had alternating chapters, one from Nick’s POV then one from Norah’s (written, alternatively, by David Levithan and Rachael Cohn).  It was an amusing idea, lots of misunderstandings and misinterpretations.  But I seem to remember the characters being a lot angrier.  Maybe it was just because the book had so many f-bombs (I believe the first page alone has 4 or 5) that I interpreted them as being angry f-bombs when perhaps they were just being “cool”. 

ANYWAY – this isn’t about the book, this is about the movie.  The movie is really sweet and cute, and to maintain the PG-13 rating they needed for their target audience, has no f-bombs at all.  It was also filmed on location in NYC, so I’m sure fans of the city will probably recognize a lot of the hot spots.

The movie revolves around Nick, who was dumped by his girlfriend a few months ago yet still pines away for her every day, making elaborate mixes and leaving them in her locker.  It is also the story of Norah, who is the daughter of a record executive and feels as though most kids only want to hang out with her because of this.  She has a best friend that she is very close to but everyone else is just sorta there.  Both of them are at the same concert, waiting for the band to perform.  Nick’s ex insults Norah and Norah approaches Nick and asks if he would pretend to be her boyfriend for five minutes. 

I’m not sure this movie would be as fun if it wasn’t for Michael Cera and Kat Dennings.  They fit so perfectly as this awkward couple – neither of them “beautiful” in the Hollywood sense, but unique and attractive in their own ways.  Their interactions feel real and you end up rooting for their little romance.  Cera underplays everything and Dennings is such a spaz that they even each other out and you believe they could be a couple.

And don’t worry, this isn’t the forced Diablo Cody-esque dialogue that made you want to rip your ears off during ‘Juno’, it’s all natural. 

There weren’t quite as many name drops as there were in the book (a good portion of the book is conversations about random bands you’ve never heard of and how they are better than other bands you’ve never heard of).  There is one short conversation in the movie, while in the car, that touches upon it but they did avoid the Beatles conversation that takes place in the book (and is probably what doomed that book for me, you don’t diss my Fab 4 and survive!)

It’s a sweet movie and, if I had been thinking about it, would have been good Valentine’s Day viewing.  It has a lot of the elements of a traditional romantic comedy but isn’t so saccrine that you’re teeth will hurt later.  I gave it 3 stars on Netflix which is the very basic “Liked It”.  And I think I did.

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