Sarah Tucker" />
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Tuesday, September 26, 2023


Playlist’ lacks substance

Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist is a movie about a teenager’s dream of a crazy, amazing night.

Nick, played by Michael Cera, is a member of a gay rock band, though he’s not gay. He is pining after his ex-girlfriend Tris, a delightfully horrible person played by Alexis Dziena, who dumped him on his "b-day."

Out of desperation, Nick makes mix-tapes for Tris, attempting to win her back. Tris’s classmate Norah, played by Kat Dennings, loves these mix tapes and considers Nick her "musical soulmate," except that they’ve never met. Following the tried-and-true Hollywood formula, as well as audience expectations, the two meet and spend the night looking for Norah’s lost and drunken friend Caroline, played by Ari Graynor, and the mysterious band Where’s Fluffy? in various New York music venues.

The movie is funny and there are quite a few entertaining scenes – such as when a random couple mistakes Nick’s Yugo for a cab and proceed to have sex in the backseat.

Or when Caroline, in her drunken stupor, believes that she’s been kidnapped and bolts screaming from the band’s van. Or when Nick abandons his dancing ex-girlfriend on the side of the road. Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist will make you laugh, no doubt about it.

But there are flaws, which detract from the movie’s humor and keep it ranked solidly in the B-movie category, such as the characters Nick and Caroline.

Nick comes across as a clingy and pathetic loser that can’t move past his last relationship. His inability to let go of Tris, who obviously enjoys tormenting him, is entertaining at times but ultimately annoying – for both the audience and Norah.

Toward the end of the movie, one will probably find themselves wishing that Cera’s character would grow up and stop being the adorable, "sensitive musician." He eventually does come to his senses and pursues Norah but it takes, predictably, the entire movie.

Norah’s friend Caroline is even funnier than Nick. The gum scene and her drunken antics are hilarious. But don’t forget, Caroline is supposed to be a senior in high school.

Suddenly Caroline doesn’t seem so funny, and Graynor’s character loses her youth. Stumbling around New York, Graynor resembles more a drunken 20-something club-goer, and less and less the innocent high schooler. Norah too seems older than her age, getting into every club she visits, no questions asked. Yes, her absent father in the movie is a famous record producer, but it still seems a little incredible.

At the end of the movie Nick and Norah finally hook up, but not in the conventional sense. This is fine of course, but doesn’t fit with the "pretend-to-be-older" theme of the movie.

Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist is geared specifically for a younger, high school crowd that can’t survive a day without being plugged in to iPods and other contraptions.

Parents are non-existent in their perfect world, much as they are in this movie as well. High schoolers pretending to be adults are allowed to roam the streets of New York, wandering from club to club in pursuit of some elusive and amazing band. Sounds like a dream, doesn’t it?

Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist is just that – a funny dream of children wishing to be adults.

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