Friday, October 3, 2008

Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist

For several weeks now I've been seeing movie trailers for Nick&Norah's Infinite Playlist opening October 3. It stars Michael Cera as Nick and looks like a movie I would have loved as a teenager but probably don't have the patience for now. That is how I felt about the book it is based on as well. I decided to read the book before the film's release. In the young adult novel with the same title, Nick is a teenage bass player in a queercore punk band and Norah is a Manhattan-music scene loving teenager from a wealthy New Jersey suburb. Nick is still mooning over his ex-girlfriend and Norah over an ex boyfriend. The two are thrown together on a first date of sorts that lasts all night and wanders all over Manhattan. The book, coauthored by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan, captures Nick and Norah's love of hard, fast, angry punk music as well as their obsession with and dissection of their own emotions. How is this for post-breakup teen angst, "I think Tris will like this band, and the fact that I know this stabs me again, because all the knowledge of what she likes is perfectly useless now." I think many teen readers can relate. I would caution that the book is more for high school juniors and seniors as it hits the ground running with foul language and sexually explicit topics and never slows down. I'm curious to see the movie's reviews. At least from the trailers I've seen, it appears to be going more for laughs than heartstrings. I imagine Michael Cera will be a big draw as well. Didn't you just want to bring him home after Superbad and Juno?

Michael Cera's sweetness aside, my recommendation for a more grownup movie about relationships and music (in this case mix tapes, remember those?) would be High Fidelity starring John Cusack. Or even better, read the Nick Hornby novel from which it was adapted. I take that back, read the book and see the movie. Jack Black is not to be missed in it. Speaking of mix tapes and books, I also really enjoyed the very poignant Love is a Mix Tape:Life and Loss, One Song at a Time by Rolling Stone writer Rob Sheffield.

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