published October 3,
and Norah’s Infinite Playlist
now playing nationwide
For a film stealing the names of cinema’s
most famous husband-and-wife detectives, Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist produces only one
How is it that the cast of a great
cinematic accomplishment like The Dark Knight suffers a lethal curse, while the makers of this crap
get away scot free? Does fate not have a sense of justice? Obviously it has a sense of humor, which is more than this film can say.
Implying an ode and ending up as sacrilege,
this film’s title alludes to the classic Thin Man comedies of the 1930s. Yes, Nick and Nora Charles counted their drinks by the flask. But
it’s hard to imagine Myrna Loy sticking her hand into a vomit-filled subway station toilet to fish out a cell phone. Much less doing so as an
act of “comedy.”
But who needs wit and dash when you can
have the puerile horndog comedy of Playlist, brought to you by the producers of American Pie? If this is an attempt at a more “mature” version of those films, then it means only that they
have transported immature gross-out behavior to older people.
The thin man of this cinematic crime is
Michael Cera, a nerdy college age musician recently dumped by his manipulative cutie-pie ex (Alexis Dziena) and now gently pursuing her enemy,
the soulful Norah (Kat Dennings, who puts the mono in monotone). Thrown together less by fate than car trouble, they spend the night together
trying to solve their own mystery – finding the New York club where their favorite band is playing a secret show. All comparisons to
Before Sunrise should self-destruct upon contact.
The film is directed by Peter Sollett, who
debuted with the much-respected indie Raising Victor Vargas. What he’s going for here, beyond a
paycheck, I don’t see. Some reviews have already described the film as sweetly compelling. I don’t see that, either. Perhaps that’s because I
covered my eyes for a good share of the screening.
The music is cool, though. Perhaps open
ears and closed eyes is the perfect way to watch.
kevinbowen @ stageandcinema.com