Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Nick & Norah: Worth the Underwire

Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist
Release: 10.03.08
Rated PG-13
1 hour, 30 minutes

Full-Price ($$$$) <
> Matinee ($$$)

Nick (Michael Cera, Juno) sits at home pining over Tris (Alexa Dziena, Havoc), the girl who dumped him on his B-day. His buddies show up to drag him from his emo-cocoon to play bass and operate the drums at their band, The Jerk Offs, latest gig. Nick hops into his Yugo and sputters into the Big Apple. In Engelwood, Norah (Kat Dennings, The House Bunny) and Caroline (Ari Graynor, Mystic River) head into the city for a night of fun and a chance to find the elusive indie band Where's Fluffy?. Norah, rattled by Tris's attitude at The Jerk Offs gig, pretends Nick is her new boyfriend. Her ruse is exploited by Nick's mates asking Norah to give Nick a chance at love while they babysit Caroline.

Despite the weird title, I was stoked to see N&N because of my favoritest two youngbloods. The perpetual high schooler, Cera plays Nick differently from that of his Juno and Superbad roles, though he does slip into that nervous, jittery vibe now and then. Dennings' Norah is a straight arrow and mother hen to her friend Caroline. Surprisingly, you'll find yourself remembering Caroline's drunken antics as much as the N&N romance. Graynor is given a Banks-able role which she exploits (minor but memorable enough to launch a star; a la Elizabeth Banks in Forty Year-Old Virgin).

Dirty Undies
Cera may be a total mo, but Dennings is looking voluptuous from head to toe. She has the goods to give ScaJo a run for her money. Nick's buddies' new friend Lethario (Jonathan B. Wright) has a hunky Josh Hartnett vibe going. I won't be the only person expecting to see more from him.

Some might say that N&N is "full of the gays" so if you've got a complex maybe you should steer clear. Nick's gay bandmates and the gay clubs visited are just a part of the night. This casual inclusion is refreshing in contrast to the usual movies loaded with homophobic or homosexual hi jinks. The vulgar moments lie instead in hetero sex talk, slutty dancing and underage drinking.

The Money Shot
The strength of N&N is the authentic awkwardness of their young love. Neither is sure what to say and when they do speak it's goofy or sounds bitter. Just as Norah warms to Nick he rolls out the Tris-talk to kill the mood. Enter Tris, the completely selfish skank, pouncing on Nick before he finds happiness outside of her clutches. Likewise Norah's ex Tal, (Jay Baruchel, Knocked Up) unleashes the Jew fire just as Nick thinks he's in the zone. The night is full of ups and downs, cock-blocking ex-lovers, a frenetic Caroline on the lam, and mistakes and mercies that remind us the fun is not missing the moment while trying to capture it.

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