NICK AND NORA'S INFINITE PLAYLIST: DVD
Soon to graduate, Nick (Michael Cera) frequents New York's indie rock scene nursing a broken heart - thanks to Tris (Alexis Dziena) - and playing the bass with his otherwise gay band, The Jerk Offs. Norah (Kat Dennings) is frequenting the same scene with her often needy, heavy drinking best friend, Caroline (Ari Graynor). Though they have nothing in common except for their taste in music, Nick and Nora's chance encounter at a nightclub leads to an all-night quest to find a legendary band's secret show, while Tris tries to sabotage the promise of this new relationship.
Review by Louise Keller:
Nothing much happens during this one-night in New York City, except that Nick meets Nora, runs into his ex and hits the night spots in search of a favourite band. Directed by Peter Sollett, this is a far-cry from his debut feature Raising Victor Vargas six years ago, which told a very different story about adolescent love in Manhattan's tough East Side. It's a pleasant enough interlude and the young band-crazy target market may get involved, but its appeal is limited and there is nothing especially fresh or novel about the content.
When we meet Michael Cera's softly spoken and geeky Nick as he pours his heart out on the phone to his ex-girlfriend Tris (Alexis Dziena), it's as though he has walked straight from the set of Juno. Tris may definitely be over Nick, but Nick is still trying to figure it all out. Cera has a quirky charm as Nick and Kat Dennings takes centre stage as his new musical soulmate Nora with whom he spends the evening. Nothing is especially comfortable, especially as Nora and Tris go to school together and Caroline (Ari Graynor) is disgracing herself by drinking too much alcohol, and allows herself to be kidnapped by Nick's harmless and likeable gay friends as they drive around the City that doesn't sleep in a van.
The best part about the film (based on a novel by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan) is the energy and interaction between the young cast. Sollett captures their carefree and life-affirming attitudes as they chat, rush, play and try to impress as they wander into the night. Musical covers include Dusty Springfield's You Don't Have to Say You Love Me and Hot Chocolate's You Sexy Thing, and while the appeal may not be infinite, teens may relate to Nick and Nora's journey.
DVD special features include director and cast commentary, director and writers commentary, deleted scenes, outtakes, Puppet Show, video diary, storyboard animations with optional commentary, storyboard animation, faux interview with Kate Dennings and Eddie Kaye Thomas, photo album and music video.
Review by Andrew L. Urban:
Music driven New York teen love story though it is, Nick and Norah ... seems a slight affair that follows a bunch of youngsters around on a typical night of carefree music consumption. Alcohol is the only drug in use, which makes the film a rarity, and the biggest issue to confront the guys and girls is the discovery of the mystery venue where their absolute fave band (the Fluffy?) is to play a late set.
Of course, there is the romantic plot about the boy who meets a girl while both of them are still have attached, but this, too, plays out rather meekly.
All the same, there is an endearing quality to the film, thanks to the engaging performances and the sheer volume (as in quantity) of indie rock on the soundtrack.
The three gay guys in Nick's band, The Jerk Offs, are the film's chauffers, driving the characters around in their spacious old van, offering support and wardrobe advice to Norah (Kat Dennings) when she first meets Nick (Michael Cera). They soon have to care for a drunken, gum chewing Caroline (Ari Graynor) and step in to stave off a fight between Nick and an ex who won't let go of Norah.
It's an easy and lightweight date movie for teens who will enjoy also discovering some New York bands.
Published September 24, 2009
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NICK AND NORA'S INFINITE PLAYLIST: DVD (M)
CAST: Michael Cera, Kat Dennings, Aaron Yoo, Rafi Gavron, Ari Graynor, Alexis Dziena,
PRODUCER: Kerry Kohansky, Andrew Miano, Chris Weitz, Paul Weitz
DIRECTOR: Peter Sollett
SCRIPT: Lorene Scafaria (novel by Rachel Cohn, David Levithan)
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Tom Richmond
EDITOR: Myron I. Kerstein
MUSIC: Mark Mothersbaugh
PRODUCTION DESIGN: David Doernberg
RUNNING TIME: 89 minutes
AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Sony
AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: February 5, 2009 (was not released theatrically)
SPECIAL FEATURES: DVD special features include director and cast commentary, director and writers commentary, deleted scenes, outtakes, Puppet Show, video diary, storyboard animations with optional commentary, storyboard animation, faux interview with Kate Dennings and Eddie Kaye Thomas, photo album and music video.
DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Sony Home Entertainment
DVD RELEASE: September 23, 2009