out of Five
Running time: 100
The likeable cast ensure that this remains watchable, but you can't help feeling that it's all been done better elsewhere.
What's it all about?
Michael Cera stars as Nick, the only straight member of gay indie band The Jerk Offs, who's finding it hard to get over his ex-girlfriend Tris (Alexis Dziena) and keeps sending her a stream of mix CDs, the latest of which is entitled Road to Closure – Vol. 12. Tris promptly dumps them in the bin at her school, where they're retrieved by her classmate Norah (Kat Dennings), the daughter of a famous music producer, who's trying to decide what she wants to do with her life.
At a gig in New York, Norah asks Nick to pretend to be her boyfriend to get Tris off her back, unaware that Nick is her ex. The pair are then thrown together by Nick's match-making bandmates (Aaron Yoo and Rafi Gavron), who agree to look after Norah's drunken friend Caroline (Ari Graynor) while Nick and Norah search for the secret venue where their favourite band is playing. But things don't quite go as planned.
Cera and Dennings deliver adorably quirky performances (Dennings' weird line readings are a treat in themselves) and there's strong support from Dziena and a scene-stealing Graynor. Similarly, director Peter Sollett (Raising Victor Vargas) makes strong use of authentic New York locations and pulls off some endearingly awkward scenes in the first half.
The problem is that, as good as they are, there's no real chemistry between the two leads. Similarly, the plot is both predictable and derivative – the same plot was used to much better effect in In Search of a Midnight Kiss, while the animated credits and too-cool-for-school soundtrack make it painfully obvious that the film wants to be this year's Juno. Ultimately, the script just isn't funny or original enough – even its set-piece gross-out gag is ripped off from Trainspotting.
Cera and Dennings keep Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist watchable, but it's too contrived to really convince and the romance doesn't really work.
Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist