This flick is based on a book, but one thing I recommend doing before seeing this film if you’ve read the novel is to remember, they are two totally different things. I actually think that’s a wise decision for any movie that’s based on a book. The book is obviously going to be more detailed, so respect the fact that the film will be different. In which this case, it is.
Nick (Michael Cera) has just been dumped by his longtime girlfriend. He is the only straight person in a queercore band ‘The Jerkoffs’. He goes out to New York City’s crazy underground music scene and meets Norah (Kat Dennings) and her extremely intoxicated friend, Caroline (Ari Graynor). Thus begins one electric night of chasing Caroline, trying to find their favorite band’s secret concert and bonding over their love of music.
This movie was enjoyable (and has one heck of a soundtrack) but in a way, mostly due to Michael Cera’s performance it tries a bit to hard to come off as an “indie” movie. I know it’s an odd label, and I for one usually don’t like to label things, but when Michael Cera is incapable of playing anyone else but himself. (He’s lovable yes, but you’ve seen this in Juno, Superbad and Arrested Development) It almost comes off as this years wanna be ‘Juno’. Now I give this film some slack, it was a book and a good book too, but a lot of people are going to compare it to ‘Juno’ for the sheer fact that Cera’s character is nearly the same. It’s quite obvious this film is aimed for the younger “hipper” kids of today. It almost shoves the “oh, I’m so indie” vibe down your throat at times but the film is very enjoyable, has lots of gags (including one very gross one involving a piece of gum) and does give you that warm fuzzy feeling when you leave. Yes, it’s a romantic comedy, but it’s different from all the rest. My only issue with the film, is that it's supposedly centered around kids that love music. Nick and Norah have ONE conversation about the bands they like (and said conversation also produces one of the most annoying lines of dialogue I've heard in a long time. "Why are they called The Cure? They should be called...The Cause!". We don't see the band that our main characters try so hard to find throughout the entire film. If we would've gotten to see "Where's Fluffy?" It would've been better. If Nick and Norah had more conversations involving music, it would've been better. Since you know, music is supposedly what makes this bond so strong.
The acting was great, I’ve always enjoyed Kat Dennings, from her bit parts in ‘The 40 Year Old Virgin’ and ‘Down in the Valley’ to ‘Charlie Barlett’. I love her look, and I hope she sticks around. Also Ari Graynor is absolutely hilarious as Caroline. I’ve only seen Ari in ‘An American Crime’, a case study on the real life Sylvia Likens, and Ari gave a great performance. I look forward to seeing her in more films as well. Michael Cera, while I enjoy him I hope he doesn’t end up like Jon Heder and playing the same character over and over again, because that’s where it looks like he’s headed, and I really hope it doesn’t end up that way. The kid has talent.
Recommended? Yes. (and go buy the soundtrack!)
Memorable Quote - “Is that a….turkey sandwich?” - Caroline (Ari Graynor)