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18 of 21 found the following review helpful:
An "After Hours" Revamp as a Smart, Affecting Teen Comedy with an Indie Rock Beat Sep 14, 2009
By Ed Uyeshima
I was all prepared to trivialize this movie for what I expected to be another hipster teen comedy taking advantage of the success of Juno and Superbad, especially given that Michael Cera is the co-star of all three films. However, this 2008 movie is really a quirky, sharply played variation on Martin Scorsese's 1985 After Hours, this time focusing on two misfit teens, kindred spirits when it comes to their taste in music, who find themselves traipsing through New York's indie rock scene for one hilariously sleepless night. Their chemistry is predestined by their names, a tribute to the scintillating married couple played by William Powell and Myrna Loy in The Thin Man series of golden-era Hollywood classics. Their nocturnal misadventures are driven by Nora's search for her hard-partying best friend Caroline, who escaped in a fit of paranoia out of a van, while gay-band bassist Nick is nursing a broken heart over Tris, the shallow, man-baiting ex-girlfriend who continues to play him.
If the movie simply limited itself to the odyssey, it would have been satisfying enough for its intended audience, but what director Peter Sollett and screenwriter Lorene Scarfaria have done to transcend the genre is make the lead characters' mutual passion for music the focal emotional point of their growing attraction for one another. Nick keeps sending Tris idiosyncratic mix CDs (like "Road to Closure, Vol. 12"), which she tosses into the trash only to provide Nora an opportunity to retrieve them and listen to reflections of his broken heart. Neither is able to articulate their feelings otherwise, as shown by their comically bumbling conversations, so the music plays a vital part of their burgeoning relationship. I still don't find Cera terribly versatile, but he has been resourceful in using his now-familiar screen persona of a dweebish sad-sack in suitably well-turned material.
Familiar as Catherine Keener's edgy but ultimately caring daughter in The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Kat Dennings comes into her own as Norah, capturing the insecurity of a character who leaves herself wide open to the pain inflicted by those around her. There are scene-stealing turns by Ari Graynor as the constantly drunken Caroline, Alexis Dziena as self-appointed goddess Tris, and Rafi Gavron and Aaron Yoo as Nick's club-friendly gay bandmates. There are a couple of Saturday Night Live cast cameos thrown in - "newscaster" Seth Meyers as the horned-up passenger mistaking Nick's yellow Yugo as a cab (with Scarfaria as his girlfriend) and Andy Samberg as a bum lurking on the steps of St. Patrick's Cathedral. The alt-rock music is appropriately underground to fit the story. There really isn't that much more to the movie since the fate of these characters is clear from the outset.
It's simply that the film has good energy fueled by the constant barrage of music and smart dialogue to fill the love story that emerges from their long night's journey into morning. There are a surprising number of extras with the 2009 DVD starting with two separate commentaries, the first with Sollett, Cera, Dennings and Graynor discussing the production details, and the second with Sollett and the source novel's writers, Rachel Cohn and David Levithan, in which they discuss more of the story and screen adaptation. There are deleted scenes and outtakes, some quite funny but understandably excised, and an amusingly off-kilter Nick & Norah puppet show by Dennings. Rounding out the extras are storyboards, photo galleries, Graynor's video diary, a music video, and a funny faux-interview with Cera and Dennings.
19 of 24 found the following review helpful:
nick&norah`s infinite playlist May 20, 2009
By Mr. Adrian L. Fox
I am over 50 and even though this movie is probably aimed at teenagers
i found it really enjoyable,this was due to really clever writing and
a excellent cast that seemed to work well together.
I had allready borrowed this movie from my brother and decided after
watching it to buy a copy for myself from the U.S. (i`m in australia)
that`s how much i enjoyed this movie.
The picture and audio is very good as you would expect with blu-ray
and this movie had some fantastic music.
10 of 13 found the following review helpful:
Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist deserves to be on heavy rotation Apr 11, 2009
By H. Bala
"Me Too Can Read"
When you think about it, nothing much really happens in this movie. NICK & NORAH'S INFINITE PLAYLIST takes place in the course of one day and night, with the crux of the story occuring in the wee hours of the morning. So there's a bit of an energetic After Hours vibe in this movie, but catered towards the sensibilities of hip teenagers who prowl the New York streets way past their bedtime. But then it also has echoes of Adventures in Babysitting, with Ari Graynor's awfully wasted Caroline subbing in for Penelope Ann Miller's nervous Brenda. Going into this one, and me being a huge fan of one of the most fabulous romantic couples in cinema, Nick and Nora Charles (of the Thin Man series), I was already favorably predisposed towards this quirky teenage romantic comedy.
Norah has never met Nick. But she knows about this guy who makes the best break-up mix CDs, most of which were pieced together for his ex-girlfriend Tris (his latest opus being titled "Road to Closure Vol. 12"). But Tris just pokes fun at the poor sap and then promptly discards these mixes, with Norah then un-discarding them and putting them in her I-pod. Because Norah absolutely digs these mixes. So, no, Norah has never met Nick, but she's probably halfway in love with the guy anyway.
Now Nick may not look like he's all that (in fact, he looks kinda dorky), yet he plays in a rock band, plays the guitar although he doesn't quite know how to work the drum machine. And dude drives a broken-down yellow Yugo which people often mistake for a taxi. But being in a band has to count for a couple of cool points, right? The plot MacGuffin is that the legendary rock band Fluffy is scheduled to put on a secret show somewhere in NYC, the rub being, of course, that the time and location are kept a mystery, leaving Fluffy's fans scouring the city for clues in the form of little white rabbits. Nick and Norah happen to be such fans, and, during this evening, they meet by chance and then are thrown together by circumstances (circumstances being the misplacing of Norah's unholily inebriated BFF and a half-hearted quest to find Fluffy). And, somehow, someway, it turns out that Nick and Norah just may be perfect for each other.
Segue alert. The special features in this dvd are pretty righteous: two cool audio commentaries - one with Director Peter Sollett, Michael Cera, Kat Dennings, and Ari Graynor (fun!); the other with Peter Sollett, authors Rachel Cohn & David Levithan, and screenwriter Lorene Scafaria; 4 minutes of outtakes; 9 deleted/alternate scenes; an awesome "Nick & Norah Puppet Show" by Kat Dennings (she pretty much recaps the film but also throws in a savage bear); Ari Graynor's excellent video diary; storyboard animations; a fake interview with Michael Cera & Kat Dennings; Peter Sollett's photo album; and Bishop Allen's music video "Middle Management." All worth checking out.
I really like this movie. See this one especially if you like movies in which two people just mostly hang out and come to find that they're awesomely sympatico. Michael Cera (Juno (Single-Disc Edition)) and Kat Dennings are terrific together, showing off an easy, natural chemistry. The low-key Michael Cera, with his not-quite-male-model looks, is likeable because he's so relatable to nerds like me, but he's also got his act together, not to mention that Cera has that wonderfully dry delivery. Kat Dennings is amazing in this film, with her vibrancy and spunk and wistful vulnerability and just her girl-next-door realness. How can you not pull for her, especially when you find out that her ex-boyfriend was mostly using her to get in good with her influential music producer dad? And don't discount the supporting actors. It's cool that Nick's gay homies aren't portrayed stereotypically, but more as regular dudes and who really are looking out for Nick. And credit to Ari Graynor for being a good sport in some pretty humiliating haplessly drunk scenes (that scene of Caroline sifting thru a soiled toilet for her bubble gum is funny, but in a really gross kinda way).
Do they ever find the legendary rock band Fluffy? It doesn't really matter, because this movie isn't really about Fluffy. There's no dumbing down here, and there are many moments of great appeal, mostly generated by the two leads. Set in the gritty neon backdrop of the Big Apple at night and with a playlist of cool indie-rock tunes to serenade things along, NICK & NORAH'S INFINITE PLAYLIST, funny and romantic, wistful and unconventional, should please both teens and adults, the night owls and even those who like to turn in early - and thus will never know the delights of experiencing a live Fluffy concert. Although, again, it's not about Fluffy.
2 of 2 found the following review helpful:
this director "gets it" Feb 10, 2012
By Brian Maitland
I was expecting a typical teenage/high school rom com and what I got was something far better. This movie comes as close to capturing EXACTLY what it was like to be young, into alternative music and how many nights ended up like this.
Without giving to much away, the casting was perfect bar maybe the ex-girlfriend of Michael Cera who comes across as way too vacuous and not remotely the alt girl type. Anyway, the chemistry between Nick and Norah seems pretty spot on as does the chemistry between the guys in the band and how they interact with each other. The ability to cast gay characters without making them flaming stereotypes was a good move.
There are other nice touches--the Yugo Nick drives, the clubs they hit in NYC, the goofy late night corner store owner and the empty Port Authority bus terminal all just work to create the feeling of "oh, yeah, I remember being 20 and doing that and being there at 4 a.m." without all this urban angst and fear that movies seem to want to portray New York as having.
On the extras I enjoyed Norah's puppet show version of the movie. Other than that the outtakes, video diary, etc., are just filler.
In the end, Kat Dennings is a star period who knows how not to overact and Michael Cera finally plays a role more suited to his emo-ness.
A pleasant gem.
1 of 1 found the following review helpful:
Believable Characters Sep 03, 2010
By georgia west
Just as Nick's yellow Yugo must roll backwards before it can move forwards, so to must our hero make a few mistakes before he gets himself going the right direction. Although it's not the most original concept for a film (night on the town), this movie's strength rests in the realistic relationships between its teenaged characters (who love, manipulate, and take advantage of one another) and the ambiance of a night in NYC. There are enough summaries here to rely on, I will simply recommend this film to anyone who enjoys a good flick about teenaged antics, young love, or indie music.
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