Okay, I know very very well that this movie was not made for men in their early thirties to go see. I think though I have what was a reasonable amount of curiosity to justify my travels last night to my local suburban theater where I sat amongst several hundred teenagers (and a fucking cop at each door of the theater through out the whole fucking thing) to intake the latest offering in teen dramedy from our fair city of Hollywood.
I had first heard about the book Nick and Norah’s Infinite Play List while doing some internet surfing of no substance. The story was originally a book, marketed at teenagers, about this guy and this girl and this funny way they hook up and oh buy the way the kid plays in a “queercore” band. So it’s that word, “queercore” that you don’t really hear to often outside the circles of punk rock. After all the height of what people referred to as queercore happened about ten years ago when Pansy Division opened up a slew of dates for Green Day. I think you would be hard pressed to find any band that identifies as queer calling themselves queercore today. I could be wrong, I don’t really want to speak for the larger queer identifying society since my ties to it as an otherwise straight white male are highly debatable, but I have not heard the term used in quite sometime. So it was this in mind that I set out to see this movie.
The casting of Micheal Cera (Arrested Development, Superbad) and Kat Dennings (The 40 Year Old Virgin, Charlie Bartlet) didn’t really hurt either. I’ve dug both their work that I have seen and was curious if they could carry a whole movie together. So I set out for this tale of a love lorn young man hot on a mix cd making frenzy for his ex being some yung girl’s boyfriend for “five minutes” and the wacky adventure they go on. Drunken friends, cute gay boys in a van, secret shows, hasidic jewish anarcho-rock band creepy guy, Electric Ladyland and two really inappropriate and uncomfortable scenes of teenagers getting sexy latter, you get a nice romantic ending. Not quite what I hoped for, not quite what I expected.
I feel like over all the ingredients for a good movie were there. You have quality actors, a plot line that moves the story along, exploration of teenage sexuality and gender politics. I mean this movie really should have been up my alley. But it seems to have missed the point completly. It’s awkwardness had more to do with a bad script not getting the charechters any where then the fact that it was a movie about awkward 18 year old highschool kids. But what the movie makers wanted to do was make another Juno and they failed to do that.
I am glad that for the most part there was mostly positive, and almost not sterotypical portrayals of teh gey boys in the film. With the exception of the ending where one of the boys head butts a kid (which was actually cool to see a gay character act in a normalized masculine manner – it’s just not something you see in your typical gay character on the big screen) and then does that little goofy “I am gay and I hurt myself doing something physical” whine that apparently all gay men do when they do anything remotely masculine really kind of sucked. And as uncomfrtable as it is now for me to see teenagers doing anything remotely sexual (which is really odd and I am not sure where this discomfort comes from) there was a little bit of positivity and tenderness to it. But I guess when Micheal Cera is delivering the goods to the ladies it’s hard not to see it as tender and loving. That is why he gets put in these movies.
Mostly though, I am dissapointed that there wasn’t a lot of talk about music. After all this seems to be what Nick and Norah are supposed to bond over and create a real realationship about. As an utter music geek, this is still what I dream of the most, finding a person I can actually talk to about music at great length (you know if I could ever shut up about the subject) and make kissy faces with. This fim, it just makes you assume that somwhere off camera they really start talking about music while driving around Manhattan.
So if you have ten dollars to spare on movie tickets, stay at home for this one my friends. It’ll be out on DVD probably in February I am sure and maybe their will be a directors cut (I really wish more bad movies would get directors cuts because I feel like sometimes footage cut out of theatrical releases may have been vital to making the movie better. See Grind as an example). Maybe it won’t be that bad. Maybe they’ll pull it off in the end.