Monday, March 23, 2009

Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist (2008)

Directed by Peter Sollett. It feels like Judd Apatow has something to do with about half the comedies that come out these days, and I don't know if he had anything to do with this one, but it feels like it. That said, this flick is a perfectly good way to spend a couple of hours if you like this sort of thing, by which I mean a chatty, one-night-in-the-life type narrative about a bunch of hipsters. This is probably my favorite kind of movie, so I liked it.

That Michael Cera kid from "Superbad" and TV's "Arrested Development" is in almost every scene in this and he's just pleasant to watch. He seems to have no range as an actor but it's very easy to identify with his one on-screen persona, and he is actually a very good actor. His eyes and his dialogue pauses are great.

Also, am I a complete creep because in movies like this -- where the plot is built on a boy who can't appreciate the sweet, kind nice girl that he should be with instead of the unappreciative, bitchy girl -- I invariably find the bitchy girl way hotter? This portrayal is fairly accurate. In life the better choices -- male or female -- are bound to be less attractive. That's just life. But when I'm watching a movie, I'm committed only to watching the movie, not trying to build a relationship. So I'm allowed to dig the bad girl.

And you know what's weird? If you were ever a fan of those John Hughes movies made in the '80s, there was this odd disparity between reality and the stereotypes of the characters portrayed in the flick. Like, "Pretty In Pink" and "Sixteen Candles" portray geeky nerds, hipster indie rock kids and upper-class clique-types so that you completely get who they're referring to, but it always feels a little off, a little stagey. The wardrobe always looks a little too new, and the dialogue cues in the script feel a little too deliberate.

This movie is the same way but that's not the weird part. The weird part is that I surprised myself by enjoying that. I think when I was a teenager, when I saw a John Hugues movie, this disparity made me feel a little superior, "They think they get it, but they just never will." In this, my reaction was still in the gut, but it was pure affection. "It's sweet and movie-licious the way they're trying to be like people I know." It was kind of like enjoying a slasher movie because the blood and flesh looks just fake enough.

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