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Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist – seriously lacking in character development

Submitted by on February 4, 2009 – 8:53 pmOne Comment

nicknorahLet me begin by saying I have never seen Superbad so I wouldn’t know how his character in Nick and Norah’s Infinite compares to this one (as other reviews have pointed out).

I also am not a fan of teen movies and would hope that one day someone realises they are a bunch of overrated tat and burns all of them; promising never to make another one again.

That being said I do hope that one day I manage to find a teenage that I enjoy.  Sadly Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist is not that film.


It’s been three weeks, two days, and 23 hours since broke up with Nick. And now here she is at his gig, with a new guy. How could she have moved on so fast? This begins the night of Nick, Norah and Manhattan. The night of stripping nuns, hotel ice rooms, Russian food, psychotic ex-boyfriends and lovingly trashy ex-. It’s the night of Julio and Salvatore. The night of holding hands and writing songs and singing in the rain. It’s a night they’ll never forget


Almost immediately after we begin we are straight into a scene offering some unimaginative exposition regarding the love life (or lack thereof) of Nick (played by Michael Cera). Soon after we are given some even worse dialogue introducing Norah (Kat Dennings wearing an inordinate amount of ) and how, although not knowing the Nick, finds a kinship with his musical tastes. This is where we are teased with a story that may just hold my interest.

However, once the evening begins though, you realise that the tale is going down a path ultimately very different than where you expected to go. “Alright” you think, “I’ll go with it”. Despite the characters having no depth and such a weak storyline you hope that you will be won over with some humour or good banter scenes. This is not the case however as you realise that Nick refuses to change from his yearning over his ex-girlfriend and Norah’s insistence that her pseudo intellectual sarcasm is appealing.

If you were to sum up both of these characters in a word, then that word would be “sheep”. They follow obediently behind any problem (or suggestion) that occurs and show no intention of changing. You’d think that if someone thought that Nick and Norah should have their characters on the big screen they would have more character (the clue is in the word).

Ultimately the title was so far off the mark it hurts as Nick and Norah could be called anything in the world and it wouldn’t matter. For me, one of the most important decisions to be made when making a film is to consider a good (and relevant) title. Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist is a great title but not relevant to the storyline.

There is some genius behind the film though that is annoying as it shows how good Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist could have actually been (if played by less tedious characters). The un-stereotypical gays in the film are something fresh and much more real when compared to the overly camp interpretations you find elsewhere in the entertainment industry. The final act makes up for some of its previous flaws but not all of them, and the music throughout is an enjoyable listen.

Overall Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist shows such a lack of character depth that you don’t really care if they get together or merely die a painful death. This could be attributed to the writing of the piece or down to Kat Dennings and Michael Cera. As it stands, I would blame casting as the main culprit for this sheep-watching event. Almost every other character onscreen was enjoyable to watch and it was a shame to be let down by the leads somewhat.


Can anyone spot any chemistry? I can’t…and therein lies the problem. From the interesting beginnings Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist ultimately disappoints. It will play well as matinee on a Day television broadcast but is unlikely to hold weight anywhere else.

For the majority of us who do not live amongst the bright lights of New York City and who aren’t in their late teens, this movie is likely to annoy. For me though, I feel just too apathetic to hate it; much like the main characters onscreen.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5

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