Maybe We Don't Have to Find It, Maybe We Are the Pieces: Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist (2008)

Sometimes for a film, soundtracks are everything, especially when said film implies music in its title.  Like Richard Linklater's Dazed and Confused, Peter Sollett's 2008 film shows an equal, if not greater, concern for what is heard, as well as what is seen.  From the ambient echoes of Band of Horses to the harmonious upbeat tunes of Vampire Weekend, Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist uses its musical pretentiousness to tell its story, and does so with great success.  It is a movie about, for, and in all likelihood by a music geek and in creating such a film, Sollett easily reflects his passion onto the screen for ninety minutes.

The film is seemingly simple in its plot.  It is the classic John Hughes movie, awkward guy loses girlfriend is a wreck and hopes to win her back.  Another girl secretly desires the awkward guy...they magically end up stuck together for a night and suddenly they realize they are soul mates.  It is really that simple, of course that goes to say that as a movie this takes many obstacles and ex's interference before occurring.

What makes the film distinctly different is the cast of characters.  With the exception of Micheal Cera...playing Micheal Cera, the group of actors are delightfully unconventional.  It is particularly nice to see a film where the main character's friends are openly gay and yet completely accepted.  The film does make note of their homosexuality in jest, but each occasion is quickly countered with them possessing their sexual identity without shame, going so far as to name their band A Fistful of Assholes.  The characters accept themselves, and those shown to be unhappy end up alone (as do Nick's Ex and Norah's belligerent friend), or without the record contract (as do a group of faux-Jewish rockers who use their heritage in an exploitative manner).  The film promotes honesty and self-esteem and certainly reflects these ideals throughout.

The filming relies heavily on artificial lighting to create a glossy feel, as the characters seem to pass through a dreary New York City which is full of rain drenched streets, off-yellow Yugo's and all male revues involving Jesus and bottomless altar boys.  The film is a stroke of genius that can easily be enjoyed.  If you have a significant other, I would suggest watching it with them, it certainly made my own viewing experience more pleasurable.  Also, check out the soundtrack, it is for all intensive purposes glorious.

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