Film, Lifestyle

Film review: Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist

nick and norah's infinite playlistThe other day I was sat on the bus on the way home from work with my iTunes on shuffle, having just finished another book. I was skipping through practically every song and figured my best bet for uninterrupted tunes was playing my Top 25 Most Played.

And you know what was on there? In amongst practically every track from Taylor Swift’s Red, and bands featured on One Tree Hill, was ‘Middle Management’ by Bishop Allen and ‘Very Loud’ by Shout Out Louds. And you know where I first heard these tracks? Watching Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist.

A great soundtrack is imperative to a great film.

Just hearing a song from the film should transport you back to a pivotal scene and envelop you in the emotion you felt when you last saw it. And being reminded of the film can also take you back to the stage in your life when you first saw the film – such is the power of the medium of film. Listening to any song from the Nick and Norah soundtrack reminds me of living with my parents, finishing my degree and not having a clue about what I was going to do next.

Watching these characters on the cusp of college, dealing with a mixture of fear, awe and excitement, ready to seize the moment and embark on an adventure continues to fill me with hope about the possibilities that await me.

Michael Cera (who normally bugs the hell out of me, but manages to make it work here) plays the aforementioned Nick, a bass player in an as-yet undiscovered indie band, alongside his two gay friends (Rafi Gavron and Aaron Yoo). Norah (Kat Dennings – if you’re anything like me, you love her in 2 Broke Girls and Thor) is an indie music loving, straight-edged girl who goes to school with Nick’s ex, Tris (Alexia Dziena).

Various circumstances bring the group together at a gig one night and sparks begin to fly between the titular characters. Throw in a top secret gig by hot new band Where’s Fluffy and a drunk best friend (a hilarious role played by Ari Graynor), and the night gets very messy indeed.

As hard as I find it to believe that one night can change your life, and that you can fall in love with someone in a matter of hours (yes, I love Before Sunrise – that’s different!), it’s these kinds of films that really sweep me away. The romantic in me gets all caught up in the moment. Don’t go thinking this is just another teen rom-com though – Lorene Scafaria’s script, based on the novel by Rachel Cohn, is punchy and original.

Plus, the film is worth watching for the soundtrack alone; much like Juno and Garden State, the soundtrack is one to introduce film fans to upcoming bands, as well as some others that have been around a bit longer, but you may not have heard of before (Devendra Banhart, Vampire Weekend, The Submarines, We Are Scientists, Band of Horses). There are also some great shots of New York City – it’s a truly magical film. And it’s incredibly quotable.

Norah reminds me of Kat from 10 Things I Hate About You in that I totally wanted to be her. I would have settled for having her take-no-shit attitude and quick wit though.

How about you guys? Which film soundtracks always seems to transport you back in time? And which film heroines would you want to trade lives with?

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