Reel Matt

This blog started as my movie marathon — watching a movie a day for a whole year — and has continued as a place for me to write reviews about movies, TV, and various other items.



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Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist

Film #316


High school student Nick O’Leary, member of the Queercore band The Jerk Offs, meets college-bound Norah Silverberg when she asks him to be her boyfriend for five minutes.

Year 1, Day 322

BEFORE: And double-feature time. Taking today’s second slot is Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playliststarring Michael Cera and Kat Dennings as the titular Nick and Norah. This film also continues my ever-continuing comedy chain (broken up of course by the Star Trek weekend) as I try and find a way to transition into other genres again. Right now, that’s planned for Tuesday but we’ll see how things play out.

AFTER: Now that’s what I call great scheduling. Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist is strikingly similar to today’s earlier film, Everything Must Go in style and purpose. It’s a very small and focused film taking place over the course of one night with limited locations and characters. But unlike Everything Must Go, Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist embraces this and takes it to a much higher level.

The appeal to Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist is seeing these characters form relationships and watching them change constantly throughout the film. Not all are positive - Tris’ cheating habits, Nick’s reluctance to let go of Tris, Tal’s control over Norah - but there are a few that are, most notably, Nick and Norah’s growth. The important thing is that all the developments stayed true to the characters which made it feel real. It was a smorgasbord of what could go wrong but also a glimmer of what things going right is like. Despite my doubts that all of this could happen in one night, I found myself still rooting for and against certain characters. All of this is because there wasn’t any extraneous characters or plot points that never came back. It was a simple story from dusk until dawn of a group of kids trying to find this one band perform. Simple story that was kept simple and the result is an entertaining and easily relatable film.

Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist was one that took me by surprise. I thought this would be just another romantic comedy, lost amongst a wide bunch with nothing of its own to differentiate itself. I was wrong. This film takes a simple look at teenage relationships in a way that has you both for and against certain characters and events. Not a great film, but still a standout one amongst a expansive genre.

(End note: apologies for a shorter and less well-rounded review than normal. Sometimes that fatigue sets in out of nowhere and al you want to do is sleep. Back tomorrow with another comedy double-feature).

RATING: 4 out of 5