Young Adult and Children’s Services at UCLA

Nick & Norahʻs Infinite Playlist October 3, 2008

So, Nick and Norahʻs Infinite Playlist began as a YA novel by David Levithan and Rachel Cohn.  It comes out tomorrow, Friday, Oct. 3 and I know a few YACSers were possibly interested in setting up a trip to the movies to see it.  If youʻre interested, e-mail YACS, leave a post on facebook, or leave a comment here and weʻll see what we can do.

Here is the trailer:

Here is a review from School Library Journal on the movie:

It takes endless patience to sit through the film adaptation of Rachel Cohn and David Levithan’s awarding-winning Nick & Nora’s Infinite Playlist (Knopf, 2006). A night on the town with these two hip, quick-with-a-quip teens lacks spark and drags, even at 90 minutes. It lacks chemistry, like an unsuccessful first date.

Norah (Kat Dennings) goes clubbing with her boozy and brassy BFF Caroline (Ari Graynor) and impulsively kisses a stranger to prove to mean girl Tris (rhymes with bris) she’s not frigid. The guy, Nick (Michael Cera), is a straight bassist in the queercore band the Jerk Offs, and unbeknownst to Norah, he was just dumped by Tris (Alexis Dziena). Though still too raw from the break-up, Nick goes along with the hook-up ruse.

It’s not that the Nick and Norah aren’t likable. Much of their sharp banter is lifted from the book’s repartee,

Nick (Michael Cera)
Photo: Barbara Nitke

though they don’t drop nearly as many F-bombs. But in trying to top each other while remaining aloof, their exchanges become monotonous. At least in the book, where alternate chapters are written by Cohn and Levithan, the monologues break up the back-and-forth verbal one-upmanship.

As a result, the actors coast on sarcasm, the script giving them little room to grow. Easy-going, shy, and unfazed, Cera’s dweeby Nick will only remind viewers of his performance in the much snappier Juno (not to mention Superbad or TV’s Arrested Development.)

Given that the rom com has been rated PG-13, the dialog has been cleaned up, and much of the frankness that added to the book’s appeal is missing. A kissing tutorial by Tris on a willing Norah doesn’t make the cut. And when Nick and Norah finally have a moment alone in her music mogul father’s recording studio, the camera discreetly cuts away from the love scene. Had the film been anywhere near as sexy as the book, the perv patrol would have been alerted.

Nora (Kat Dennings)
Photo: JoJo Whilden

Unlike so many films set in downtown Manhattan but filmed in Canada, Nick & Norah was actually shot around the East Village. Norah’s right—pigging out at the 24-hour après club restaurant Veselka is a great way to top off the night.

Directed by Peter Sollett
90 minutes
Rated PG-13

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