Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist

Year 2, Day 41 - 2/10/10 - Movie #406

BEFORE: I sort of failed to give Valentine's Day its due last year - "Sea of Love"? "Waitress"? C'mon, I was reaching. And on V-Day itself, I watched "The Dark Knight" - true, I watched it with my wife, but it wasn't thematically appropriate. So, I've selected a dozen or so movies about romance from my list, and all that music in "Dirty Dancing" means that this is as good a place to start as any.

THE PLOT: High school student Nick O'Leary, member of the band The Jerk Offs, meets college-bound Norah Silverberg and she asks him to be her boyfriend for five minutes.

AFTER: Ugh, I had such high hopes for this one, thinking it might be another "Superbad", or even another "Juno" - but it starts with an unbelievable coincidence, and goes downhill from there. You know what a coincidence is? It's a shortcut used by a lazy screenwriter who doesn't know how to get there from here.

After Nick & Norah meet cute and discover they like the same band, they and their friends have to drive all over NYC in a van, looking for Norah's drunk friend, who seems incapable of answering the simple question "Where are you?" on a cell phone. It's just a lame way to turn a 5-minute plot into a feature film.

There's also this mysterious band called "Where's Fluffy", which performs in secret locations - but how does the band become more popular by giving only cryptic clues to there location. Why make it hard to figure out, don't you want people to attend the show? I don't get it - I might be too old for this film.

And what sort of high-school kids are allowed to perform in a band, when they're not even old enough to get into that club? And they're allowed to stay out all night, in New York City, bouncing from club to club? Where are their parents? Yep, I'm definitely too old.

The movie does visit some great NYC hot-spots, like Bowery Ballroom, Crash Mansion, Veselka Restaurant, and of course Gray's Papaya (NYC hot dogs should only be grilled, and purchased from places with "Papaya" in the name, you can keep those "dirty water" push-cart dogs...). But since I know those places, and we've established that I'm old, how hip could those places be? Plus they get the geography wrong - there's no way that the Empire State Building would look that big from 5th Ave. and 65th St. - it would be 30 blocks away!

The movie does manage to capture the cuteness and awkwardness of teen love - and the difficulties in dealing with ex-boyfriends and ex-girlfriends - but it's still an aimless movie about a bunch of aimless kids on an aimless night.

Starring Michael Cera, with cameos from Jay Baruchel (last seen in "Tropic Thunder"), John Cho and Eddie Kaye Thomas (from "Harold & Kumar"), indie-film star Kevin Corrigan, and Seth Meyers and Andy Samberg from SNL.

RATING: 3 out of 10 mix CDs

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