Films are absolutely pivotal in the structure of the entertainment tree of the modern teenager. There are a million movies that are highly recommended and the genres that they can be classified are many and varied. However, among all the many kinds of films that are offered up to us for our selection, few are of the quality that leave us feeling good about the way things are going.
A romance is always a nice movie to watch and it’s better still when it’s young, bumbling love. Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist is a movie about such a priceless relationship. Directed by Peter Sollett, this 2008 film follows Nick played by Michael Cera of Juno fame and Norah essayed by Kat Dennings as they stumble through a tumultuous evening in New York City.
The film begins with Nick leaving a faltering message on the voicemail of his recently ex-girlfriend, Tris (Alexis Dziena). He tells her that he’s made her a mix CD and hopes she likes it. But Tris does not care for the music and dumps it into a garbage bin in her school. This is where Norah finds it. She salvages the disc from the bin, much to the dismay of her best friend Caroline (Ari Graynor) who disapproves of the way Norah is doting on a boy she’s never met!
Meanwhile, Nick’s gay band-mates, Thom (Aaron Yoo) and Dev (Rafi Gavron), who are also incidentally his two best friends, convince him to play with them at a club. They plan to look for the newest location that their favourite and highly publicity-shy band- Fluffy- is going to be performing at. And so the evening begins.
During Nick’s gig, he sees Tris in the crowd with another guy. Then Tris taunts Norah about her being there without a date. Norah denies the allegations and unwittingly asks Nick to be her boyfriend for five minutes. They share a kiss in full view of Tris. Through all this, a drunken Caroline begins to create a hullabaloo and Norah and Nick help her out of the club. Nick is to give the two girls a lift home when Thom and Dev cook up a scheme to get Nick and Norah to spend time alone. They want him to get over Tris and so they promise to get Caroline safely home and leave the two of them alone together, entrusting them with the task of finding Fluffy. They go forth bravely till they have an argument about Tris. Norah is about to leave when Nick gets a call explaining that Caroline is missing. A wild goose chase ensues but Caroline is found, eventually. Nick and Norah go their separate ways and the rest of the party carries on looking for Fluffy.
Both leads manage to rudely spurn their exes and meet up in a restaurant. They head off to somewhere private, having accepted their attraction for each other. They receive a message from Caroline…They’ve found Fluffy…but how will the night end for Nick and Norah, while their jealous exes still hold them in their thrall?
The movie is inspired by a novel by David Levithan and Rachel Cohn; this is a brilliant movie for anyone who believes in the magic of just one night. There’s an innocent aura in the manner of direction. Honesty with the situation lends it a very believable touch. The film has been shot almost entirely on location in New York City and almost entirely at night. The movie is one of the least pretentious movies of our generation especially in a genre that is so attached to stereotypes. The film puts into prominence the Queercore movement and makes some thought provoking references to sexuality and the acceptance of homosexuality even in post-modern society. The humour is natural and effortless.
There are few teen movies that have been more sensitively made. Stereotypes have been so tactfully avoided. Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist has been a heart warming experience: not just a film but an insight into a beautiful dream.