Sunday, October 26, 2008
416 - Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist review
Meet Nick: he’s a teenage guitarist from New Jersey. We know he’s supposed to be lower class when we see his car, a yellow Yugo that is frequently mistaken for a taxi by New York street drunks. Nick is mopey and borderline insufferable after his girlfriend, a rich Catholic school vixen, gives him the pink slip. He’s in a band in which he is the only straight guy. I’m not certain if the NI will print the band’s name but I’ll give it a try: they’re called The Jerk-offs. Nick is played by Michael Cera, which tells us going in that he’ll be intelligent and (sort of) sweet natured, even as he’s boring and unable to discuss anything but music and how much it sucks to get dumped by a hot lady. At one point he refers to his love interest with a term that's definitely an ethnic slur when referring to individuals of Asian descent, and sort of feels like one when used as an acronynm to refer to Jewish women. He refuses to drink, which reminds me of something Winston Churchill said about men who won’t intake alcohol.
Meet Norah: she’s the daughter of a big shot music producer. Like Nick, Norah is also mopey, but considering how cushy her life must be I’m not exactly sure why. She’s touted by Nick’s band mates as the solution to his love problems, an interesting conclusion seeing as it is drawn, oh, about ten minutes after everyone meets her. Later, she’ll have the most creatively graphic PG-13 orgasm since Joan Allen’s in “Pleasentville,” which in turn makes me wonder how PG-13 movies can get away with such a thing. Norah is played by Kat Dennings, a charming actress I hope to see more of, although it wouldn’t kill her to star in a good movie before too long.
Meet Caroline: she’s Norah’s obnoxious BFF, an obnoxious drunk who spends the majority of the film plastered and running around the city. The quest to find her occupies most of the plot, as Nick and Norah and the band drive all over NYC looking for her. A friend of mine once threw a belligerent drunk down a flight of stairs for acting half as bad as Caroline does. Her presence subjects us to some startlingly gross moments, such as when she fishes her gum out of a vomit-filled public toilet before sticking it back in her mouth. Does that sound funny to you? She is played by Ari Graynor, who apes an annoying drunk with eye-opening precision. If there were an Oscar for “Best Performance in a Drunken Role,” she’d at least get nominated.
Meet Tris: the aforementioned vixen who sent Nick into a downward spiral of depression and lame music references. Upon discovering that Nick has another love interest, she launches a full-fledged campaign to win him back via the timeless art of seduction. How this hapless dork got two wealthy, attractive women dueling over him is beyond me. Because he makes good mix CD's? My ass. She's played by Alexis Dziena, who proved in "Broken Flowers" that she can play a teenage temptress quite well.
Meet Nick and Norah's romance: sure, they Meet Cute and hook up and have a great evening and talk about some band I've never heard of. Cool, but we'll see how long this relationship lasts once Norah realizes that Nick can't buy her a Prada bag just because it's a Tuesday.
Posted by James at 10/26/2008 12:00:00 PM