When I come here to write a blog, I usually spend days trying to figure out what I'm going to say. I approach this as if I'm writing for a magazine or newspaper when really, I'm writing for me and a bunch of people who love movies. I know this, but I still take time to set it up and rewrite it. Once in a while, I see a movie that throws all those formalities out the window. I just sit down and start typing. Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist is one of those movies.
It is not the best movie I've seen this year, but it's truly the first movie this year that reminded me why I not only love watching movies, but love the whole idea of creating. It's such a simple story about the complication of love and relationships. It's little bits of every experience you've had just in settings you've never found yourself. It reminds me of all the good 80s movies that I find comfortable.
Nick (Michael Cera) is a bassist in a band who's completely hung up on his ex-girlfriend. He makes her mix CDs which she never listens to, but he keeps on trying to win her back. In an attempt to pull him out of his funk, his band mates take him out to play a gig and find his favorite band Where's Fluffy.
Norah (Kat Dennings) is the plain girl with the famous dad. Her best friend Caroline (Ari Graynor) depends on her for everything, and the pretty girl Tris (Alexis Dziena) is a complete bitch to her all the time. Little does Norah know that Tris' ex is Nick, and she's in love with his mix CDs.
This movie is about how two people with nothing in common but the love of a band find each other, lose each other, and then really find each other in one very long, very amazing night.
I think what makes this movie so comfortable and enjoyable are the lead actors. Michael Cera and Kat Dennings both play the plain kid well. You root for them, you feel for them, and you know them like they're your best friends. Oh, and they have incredible chemistry.
The supporting cast ain't too shabby either. Norah's best friend Caroline is a fall down drunk, but she provides a good majority of the comic relief. Think Penelope Ann Miller in Adventures in Babysitting. (If you haven't seen Adventures, please rent it now.)
Nick's gay bandmates, Thom (Aaron Yoo) and Dev (Rafi Gavron) are wonderful. (I have to mention that they are gay because everyone else brings it up every five minutes.) Thom and Dev are Nick's conscience, attempting to point him in the right direction and always (well, almost always) there to pull him back to himself.
With the offbeat supporting players and the down-to-earth leads, Nick and Norah is a quirky romantic story about teenagers on the cusp of adulthood crossing paths and having a crazy time doing it.
Real people don't have nights like these. Real people don't figure out the meaning of love and all that in one crazy night in New York City, but real people in the movies do. And that's why we all go see these stories play out on the big screen. Because sometimes we need to see the hyper-reality instead of the reality. Sometimes we need a feel good, comfortable, love story that's simple, sweet, and really good.