Movie Mom

Movie Mom

A.O. Scott on “Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist”

posted by Nell Minow

I love New York Times critic A.O. Scott’s review of this movie, my favorite romantic comedy of the year so far by far. Scott beautifully captures the charm of this lovely film.

As thin as an iPod Nano, as full of adolescent self-display as a Facebook page, “Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist” strives to capture, in meticulous detail, what it’s like to be young right now….Norah’s wary, pouty manner and Nick’s odd mix of timidity and sarcasm are both strategies of self-protection.

I particularly admire this wonderfully evocative description of one of the key elements of the movie, as suggested by the title — the soundtrack, and how it complements and counterpoints the story and themes:


The tunes that play alongside their nocturnal adventure express longing, sadness, anxiety and joy with more intensity than they can muster themselves. Nick, played by the wet-noodle heartthrob Michael Cera (“Juno,” “Superbad”) and Norah (Kat Dennings, who has a hint of Kate Winslet’s soft, smart loveliness in her face) are, like so many kids these days, most comfortable with diffidence, understatement and a deadpan style of address that collapses the distinction between irony and sincerity.

  • Alicia

    This movie is on my list, though not quite at the top. The choice of the names makes me think of the “Thin Man” series – Nick and Nora Charles.

  • Nell Minow

    Yes, Alicia, I can tell (as if I didn’t know) you’re a classic movie buff like me. I mention that in my review. I love the William Powell/Myrna Loy movies, not just the “Thin Man” series but the other romantic comedies (“Libeled Lady,” “I Love You Again”) and even their dramas.

  • Alicia

    Hi, Nell. I am indeed a classic movie buff, and I guess “great minds think alike!” I just read your review of “Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist” after you mentioned it – I haven’t been keeping up for the past few days.
    BTW, I saw you on the Today Show the other day. Good deal – sounds like you have a very interesting “day job” especially in these times!

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