Every 10 years, we need a good teen movie. The ’80s have Fast Times at Ridgemont High. The ’90s have Can’t Hardly Wait. And now the ’00s have Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist.
In Nick and Norah, Michael Cera (Arrested Development, Superbad) plays his typical awkward teenage self as one of the titled characters, Nick. Just like usual, it works really well.
Nick is having a hard time recovering after having his heart ripped to shreds by his hot girlfriend, Triss. In an attempt to win her back, Nick makes mix tapes (on CD) dedicated to her and leaves them on her doorstep. Little does he know that she throws them away after mocking him with her friends.
Enter Norah, the other titled character, played by Kat Dennings (The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Charlie Bartlett). Norah is friends-by-association with Triss, whom she can’t even stand to be around. The only reason Norah puts up with Triss is because she collects Nick’s amazing mix tapes out of the trash when she’s gone. Not even knowing who he is, Norah is musically in love with Nick.
Later that night, the entire teen community is thrown into a frenzy when the under-the-radar popular band Where’s Fluffy announces a secret concert at an undisclosed location. It’s during this mad teenage scavenger hunt around New York City that Nick and Norah’s paths cross, changing everything.
Nick and Norah is a musically driven film. Almost every scene has fitting, obscure music playing in the background, always setting a perfectly matching mood. It’s the type of movie to have several discs of soundtrack released over time; no one disc will contain all of the songs you’d want from the movie.
Other than an over-the-top drunken character that distracts from the overall mood and one running gag involving a disgusting piece of gum, Nick and Norah is a surprisingly pleasant pick for this week.