Wednesday, 3 October 2012
Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist (2008)
Boy, if you like predictable rom-coms, pretentious indie bands and Michael Cera playing an awkward but ultimately nice guy, have I got the film for you! Thankfully, although maybe not one to publicly admit it, I do like all those things, and Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist has them in abundance. Not to mention a starring role for one of the coolest people on the planet: Kat Dennings (AKA literally the only redeeming thing in that awful, awful show on Ch4 called 2 Broke Girls).
Cera plays it safe with a role that he's done a million times before. If you've seen Superbad, Juno or Arrested Development, just imagine any of his characters in those but in New York and in a band. With a web of coincidences that only happen in movies like this, Cera's Nick runs into Dennings' Norah at one of his gigs where she asks him to pretend to be her boyfriend for 5 minutes and kicks off an hour and a half of crazy exes, a search for both a drunk blonde girl and a publicity shy indie band, and a host of well written gay characters.
It's pretty much an inoffensive and probably pretty forgettable rom-com, but it's one of the better inoffensive and probably pretty forgettable rom-coms out there. Dennings and Cera have a believable and endearing chemistry on screen, even if the story does follow the tried and tested "they like each other, they're falling for each other, shit now they're angry with each other, oh wait it's okay they're in love again" rollercoaster that we've all ridden many times before. One thing they both get right that's often a pratfall for films with a centre on music is that you can actually believe that these people are into these bands and their music. The soundtrack compliments this pretty well, with bands that may have been slightly more underground at the time than they are now; Vampire Weekend, We Are Scientists and Band of Horses all feature to some degree and give the film an authentic feel of a New York "real music" scene.
You won't be left behind in the world of important cinema history if you don't catch Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist, but if you want to spend an hour and a half on some not terrible, fluffy romantic comedy you could do much, much worse.