LET’S GO IN MY YUGO
Where is “Where’s Fluffy”? This is the question that sets the quest in “Nick and Nora’s Infinite Playlist.” The Holy Grail here is a legendary band that performs in secret venues. Two of its searching fans are strangers Nick (Michael Cera) and Nora (Kat Dennings). The two meet in a New York club, where she makes the first move, albeit lamely and desperately.
“Would you be my boyfriend for five minutes?” she asks Nick, pulls him closer, and presses her lips against his.
She’s acting out a lie – a lie she has told a haughty girl named Tris. No way would Nora admit that she came to the club without a boy. Nick, meanwhile, is too stolid to play along with the kiss. The recently-dumped chap is too lovesick to click with the chick off his lips. Of course, as it turns out, Nora’s nemesis and Nick’s ex-honey is one and the same person (Alexis Dziena). It is the first of the many complications. This teen movie is a comedy after all. And look for two gay band mates, a plastered friend, and a mini Yugo to join forces with the twosome.
The movie itself is not a bad trip. Michael Cera and Kat Dennings are great to watch. Cera is passively awkward, as usual. His comic timing is impeccable and his shtick is yet to get old. The opening scene alone, where Nick leaves Tris voicemail messages, is hilariously executed. As Nora, Dennings has a low-key allure. She might be no Ellen Page (Cera’s last cuddle in “Juno”), but she can dole out droll verses. In the supporting cast, Ari Graynor, Aaron Yoo and Ravi Gavron are game in their comedic parts, though I thought the writing writes them off as two-dimensional companions.
The screenplay is the big disappointment here. At times, it mistakes childishness and stupidity for greatness. Hey, even immaturity can get old fast. Personally, I wanted a more bracing and youthful story. Rather, the movie recycles the same characters and forcibly regroups them towards the end. I’d much prefer if Nick and Nora bumped from one new interesting character to another. This would’ve kept the story fresh.
I would compare “Nick and Nora’s Infinite Playlist” to a typical album and its scenes are like its songs. On consequent tries, you hardly have patience to experience it as a whole. You simply skip to the best parts. There is no denying that some scenes rocked; the others were – uhm – rocky.
Michael Cera, Kat Dennings, Ari Graynor, Aaron Yoo, Ravi Gavron, and Alexis Dziena
Based on the novel by
David Levithan and Rachel Cohn
Rated PG-13 for sexual situations and profanity