first up: Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist
This movie was actually very good and sweet and cute and funny. I'd even dare say better than Juno since my expectations for that were so damn high and was basically sliced at the legs. Not saying that movie sucked, it was fine for what it was, but this movie had no buzz going in to it so my expectations weren't as great. So what do I get in return, an actually decent romantic comedy with one awesomely funny Farrelly Brothers-style gross out scene that I think made half the audience hurl.. (I loved it, obviously for that reason)
So Nick an Norah's Infinite Playlist is about Nick (Michael Cera who, like Shia Labeouf, should never act out of this character, EVER) who still pines for the girl that broke up with him and Norah (Kat Dennings, she's kinda new, and she. is. awesome.), who's the enemy of Trish, the girl who dumped Nick. They don't know each other except for Norah's love of Nick's lovelorn dump me CDs he keeps giving Trish. One night in the city that is new york leads to both of them meeting for the first time and the riotous night of awesome romantic comedy ensues.
Of course in a two person movie like this, it helps to have a great supporting cast: Tom and Dev (played by Aaron Yoo and Rafi Gavron) are two parts to the gay rock band "The Jerk Offs". Nick is the only straight third person, and the bassist. They have no drummer (yes it's funny to find out how they fix this). Aaron and Rafi play not your typical gay sidekick in every single romantic comedy that comes along that has one, and actually have more of a sideplot than stories like these would give them. That's because they got stuck with Norah's drunk friend Caroline (Ari Graynor - who at the very least, deserves a win at the MTV Movie aAwards for this fucking hysterical performance that will get noticed by NO ONE) oh and they pick up some guy as well only known, for 1/3 of the movie as Beefy Guy (Jonathan Wright - he's only getting mentioned b/c I'm talking about his next movie later). Trust me, with an offbeat cast like that, along with cameos by some SNL cast members and a dude from a previous stoner movie (telling it would give away the surprise), leads to a pretty decent ride.
Again if you make a movie set in NYC, make an attempt to shoot NYC. And this one did. Very well, granted half the shit in this place I didn't know but my friend who came with me did and basically explained to me everything, which was neat because it was like having a tour guide in your own city (sad I know). I loved the shots and the places the scenes were set in. It was definitely how you'd want the city to be filmed. It doesn't glorify it as much as to say it takes it to a "hey I'd wanna live her" kinda atmosphere. Although director Peter Sollett falls short of "transforming the viewer into these places" like some movies do (see virtually every single Martin Scorsese movie and you'll know what I'm talking about - the man has a knack for literally bringing you into his own world). But the plot and the directing did a fine job of getting you there.
As for Nick and Norah - Kat and Michael are really a cute couple to behold. You just want to take them in your hands and put them in your pocket and keep them. True the chemistry thing wasn't exactly there, but it was there enough that you find their relationship to work in the end.
And Cera, like I said needs to stick with these kinds of roles, because I cannot see this kid play anyone else differently. Which is why I am DYINGGGGGGGGGG to see his next film Youth in Revolt with Wright and also Graynor as his mom (EEEEE!!!, THIS IS GOING TO BE HYSTERICAL!!). Can it be February 20th, 2009 already?