Movie #182 2021: Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist (2008)

Seeing as I was sixteen in 2008, it’s kind of surprising – even to me – that I’d never seen this movie before. I mean, this movie was literally made for sarcastic, slightly emo 16-year old girls, right? Alas, it was a film that passed me by. So, thirteen years after its first release, I finally dipped my toe into the waters of Nick & Norah.

Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist follows Nick (Michael Cera), who is still obsessed with his ex-girlfriend and persists in sending her mixtapes even though their relationship is long over and she has moved on. Norah (Kat Dennings) picks up these discarded mixtapes, appreciating them more than Nick’s ex-girlfriend ever would. Taking place across the span of one night, the film shows us the night in which Nick & Norah finally meet, and there’s an initial hatred between the two of them. Later on, they realise they have more in common than they first thought, which forces each of them to figure out what they really want from each other.

15 Reasons 'Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist' Is An Underrated Gem

Let’s get something out of the way first: I came here for Kat Dennings and I stayed here for Kat Dennings. Do I even need to explain myself on that?

Nick & Norah is a pretty run-of-the-mill teen movie with a heavy dose of quirk thrown in… although that “quirk” might just be Michael Cera to be brutally honest. All in all, very little happens across the board and it’s ultimately just a bunch of kids running around New York City bonding over music. The story itself has all been done before too, with the age old “boy meets girl” cliché at the forefront. Thankfully, the comedy is actually pretty well done so it’s a mildly entertaining film at the very least. Not Lorene Scafaria’s best screenplay (Hustlers) but it’s a solid enough attempt. 

Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist (12A) | Bradford Telegraph and Argus

Unsurprisingly for a movie with that title, the soundtrack is pretty great. The National, Modest Mouse and classic Vampire Weekend all make appearances, so I basically felt like I was in high school again. And I didn’t hate that about it! This was audibly a real treat of a time capsule.

I said at the start of this review that I only stayed for Dennings and I meant it. Without her, I strongly believe that this movie would not have been quite as charming as it is. The rest of the cast are absolutely fine (yes, even the always annoying Cera), but KD has more star quality than the rest of them combined.

Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist doesn’t outstay its welcome at a mere 90 minutes and has a bunch of fun cameos from the likes of Andy Samberg and John Cho. Dennings shines alongside a fun soundtrack, however, it’s a mostly average and rather forgettable teen flick for the most part.

Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist is available to rent on Amazon and the Google Play Store for £2.49 in the UK.

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