Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist (2008)

Rated: Rated PG-13 for mature thematic material including teen drinking, sexuality, language and crude behavior.
Length: 90 minutes
Grade: DC-DD=D
Budget: $10 million
Box Office: $33 million (31 U.S., 2 Intl., DVD)

Written by: Lorena Scafaria (First screenplay) based on the novel by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
Directed by: Peter Sollett (First major film)
Starring: Michael Cera, Kat Dennings, Alexis Dziena, Aaron Yoo, Rafi Gavron, and Ari Graynor.

The brooding daughter of a famous music producer falls for a guy who’s still getting over being dumped by his hot girlfriend, and they have misadventures over the course of one night in New York City.

Entertainment Value: D
Juno meets Charlie Bartlett, only less entertaining by far than either of them. Sadly, in the end this winds up being exactly the wrong sort of movie: boring and worthless, but not quite bad enough that you ever feel fully justified in turning it off and cutting your time losses.

Superficial Content: C-
Drugs/Alcohol D, Sex/Nudity C-, Violence B, Language C, Illegality NA
One of the main characters is drunk throughout the movie. There are a handful of sexual scenes and discussions, with no nudity. One fight including a head butt. And enough profanity throughout to justify the upper end of PG-13. I’d probably go PG-15. Also, significant supporting characters are gay, although no actual gay behavior is shown.

Significant Content: D
The right person may not be the person you fantasize about. Musical tastes reveal your soul, thus musical compatibility is the key indicator of a soul mate. Shallow people like shallow music and aren’t cool. Being a reckless post-teen is fun. Everyone wants to be loved.

Artistic/Thought Value: D
Not so much. Did I mention that this is like Juno meets Charlie Bartlett but without so much depth or entertainment value as either?

Discussion Questions:
~To what degree is musical compatibility important in both friendships and in romantic relationships? Is musical incompatibility a real barrier to either?
~How are the elusive antics of the mysterious band in this movie similar to the method that this movie uses to keep you watching it?
~Why does Nick want to be with Tris? What does she offer him that he desires?
~Why does Tris want to get Nick back when she feels Norah might be getting him?
~Why does Tris feel the need to constantly attack Norah and talk about her father even though Norah never brings him up? Does she seem to use her dad’s fame to her advantage a lot? Why does she get into all the clubs?
~Why is Tal with Norah? Why was Norah with Tal? Was she blind to his real motives or did she just accept them because she wanted companionship? Have you ever agreed to be with someone despite knowing it wasn’t right just because you were lonely? Been friends with people for the same reason?
~Why are we willing to believe a lie that makes us feel good even when we know deep down that it’s a lie? How does Norah’s comment that it’s nice to feel special sometimes fit in here?
~What's the Christian solution to our desires to find fulfillment in even bad relationships, as well as good ones?

Overall Grade: D
There are many better movies worth watching. Watch them instead.

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