Nick And Norah has all the Juno boxes ticked – a sweet and clumsy romance, the cutesy animated opening credits, the leftfield soundtrack, the smart indie teens and most obviously of all, Michael Cera reprising his role as the adorable dweeb. And yet it’s a million miles away from Juno. The witty, stylised dialogue is lacking, Kat Dennings is all well and good, but she’s no Ellen Page, but most of all it lacks the warmth Juno generated.
Nick And Norah is set over the course of an eventful night in the lives of a group of teen music buffs on the hunt for a secret gig by their favourite band, Where’s Fluffy, somewhere in New York. Nick (Cera) is nursing a broken heart after being dumped by beautiful but bitchy Tris (Alexis Dziena). Norah (Dennings), meanwhile, is caught up in an on-and-off relationship with the wrong guy.
Nick is the only straight guy in a band named The Jerk-Offs and the film steers refreshingly clear of stereotypes in its portrayal of Nick’s gay band mates, Thom (Aaron Yoo) and Dev (Rafi Gavron). They can see that Nick and Norah are clearly perfect for each other and set about playing Cupid, but obstacles are constantly being hurled in the way. Will Nick and Norah manage to get their act together before the closing credits? I’m sure you can take an educated guess.
The laughs come courtesy of Nick’s comedy yellow vehicle (cf. Little Miss Sunshine) and Norah’s drunk friend Caroline (Ari Graynor). Caroline’s whereabouts provides a constant distraction to prevent Nick and Norah hooking up. Graynor (who is a lot like Renee Zellweger) pretty much steals the show with her drunken escapades. Graynor’s character brings in elements of gross-out comedy, but the film never commits to it wholeheartedly, leaving it feeling a bit misplaced.
Infinite Playlist is a tapestry of elements from other movies hashed together without ever truly finding its own groove. Still, it’s a pleasant enough way to pass a couple of hours. The two leads are likeable and their stumbling romance is endearing, there’s a few laughs and some great, self consciously hip music.
Extras Nothing overwhelming included on the disc – a handful of deleted scenes, easy to see why they didn’t make the final cut. The two audio commentaries are more entertaining. The first consists of director Peter Sollett with his young cast, Cera, Dennings and Graynor. This is really for fans of the actors rather than to provide any dazzling insight into the making of the film. The camaraderie between the cast certainly comes across. The second commentary includes Sollett again, this time with the authors of the novel on which the film is based, David Levithan and Rachel Cohn, along with the author of the screenplay, Lorene Scafaria. They give a more grownup take on the process of bringing Nick And Norah to the big screen. And yes, they do explain the origins of the title.