Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist

Movie Information

The Story: Two rather mopey high-school kids find themselves thrown together, discover awkward chemistry and have various adventures in New York City over the course of the evening. The Lowdown: Michael Cera and Kat Dennings (in roles they could play in their sleep) keep this uninspired teen flick barely afloat.
Score:

Genre: Teenage Romantic Comedy
Director: Peter Sollett (Raising Victor Vargas)
Starring: Michael Cera, Kat Dennings, Aaron Yoo, Rafi Gavron, Ari Graynor, Alexis Dziena
Rated: PG-13

Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist isn’t actually infinite; it just seems like it. In reality, it’s 90 minutes long—a very long 90 minutes. Despite its title, the film has nothing to do with the characters of Nick and Nora Charles from Dashiell Hammett’s novel The Thin Man, nor those characters’ screen incarnations, William Powell and Myrna Loy. (I guess the “h” on Nora is the tip-off.) Indeed, it seems improbable that any of the characters in this movie ever heard of Hammett, The Thin Man or Powell and Loy. But then there’s a veritable litany of things I suspect these characters never heard of.

What we mostly have here is this year’s attempt at Juno—minus the teen pregnancy, likable characters or clever screenplay. This leaves us with … not very much. The plot is a lopsided amalgam of lots of other movies. Imagine, if you can, a knockoff of Chris Columbus’ Adventures in Babysitting (1987)—with the level of cleverness dumbed down to zero—combined with Martin Scorsese’s After Hours (1985). Now, take that and run it through the Richard Linklater slacker-izing machine, toss in the oh-so-not-funny impediment of a drunk friend, craft a smattering of faux-Diablo Cody Juno-speak, sprinkle with some generic teen angst, rip off the escalator ending from Superbad, and drown the whole thing in banal pop music: Et voilà! You have Nick and Norah’s Infinitely Derivative and Annoying Playlist.

In the interest of full disclosure, I should note that I’m probably too old to comment that effectively on the film’s musical choices. I knew who they were talking about when the Cure was referenced, but as far as the soundtrack itself was concerned, I only recall identifying two songs: one by Dusty Springfield and one by Hot Chocolate (and no, I’m not proud of the fact that I can ID “You Sexy Thing”). Someone else’s take on the movie’s musical program might be different than mine as a result, but that doesn’t change the fact that the music just seemed to be there. It wasn’t used creatively. It didn’t enhance the action or the characters. And the film certainly didn’t enhance the music. That seems a significant failing in a film with this title.

The story is never more than adequate. Nick (Michael Cera) is the only straight guy in an otherwise gay rock group (an odd position for someone who tends to freak out if anyone thinks he’s gay). He has broken up with—and is broken up over—Tris (Alexis Dziena, Fool’s Gold), a Teen Movie 101 heartless bitch we’re meant to detest on sight. When Tris breaks her promise not to go anywhere that Nick’s band is playing, Nick is even more upset. Oh, but the script intervenes. Heartless Tris has been picking at her “friend” Norah (Kat Dennings, The House Bunny) for being boyfriend-challenged, so Norah presses Nick to pretend to be her boyfriend—little realizing that Nick is the guy who made all those wonderful mix CDs for Tris that Norah’s been rescuing from the trash. To give the right impression, Norah kisses Nick for effect—and she hears violins (or whatever the hip variant on that might be).

Of course, this doesn’t mean smooth sailing. Oh, goodness me, no. Problems abound—mostly in the form of Nick’s unfortunate tendency to prattle on about Tris, the occasional intrusions by Norah’s semi-boyfriend Tal (Jay Baruchel, Tropic Thunder), attempts to discover just where a band called Where’s Fluffy is playing and the “hilarious” drunken antics of Norah’s friend Caroline (Ari Graynor, For Your Consideration). That last (much of which is lifted from Adventures in Babysitting) eats up a lot of time—and why not? After all, nothing’s funnier than a sloppy drunk fishing her chewing gum out of a public toilet she’s just puked in, right?

Perhaps the film’s biggest problem lies in the decision that these are high-school kids. Even apart from the usual problem inherent in twentysomethings pretending to be 17, the whole concept of the film would likely work better if these were college kids. Among other things, the film offers scarcely a hint of these kids having parents or any kind of authority in their lives. Norah has a never-seen, rich and influential father, but that’s it. Everyone else seems to exist entirely on his or her own with no one to answer to for being out all night in New York City. Similarly, by the logic of the script, Norah has been in a relationship with the obviously much older Tal since she was 14. No wonder she looks a bit like Dracula’s daughter and talks like Ally Sheedy.

The film attempts to coast on the inherent charm of its stars, Cera and Denning. The former undeniably has charm, but it might be pleasant to see him play something other than essentially the same character in every film. Denning, on the other hand, is somewhat less charming, but then she’s stuck in the slightly dark, rebellious teen mode (see The House Bunny, Charlie Bartlett etc.) and this is just another such role. Still, without them, Nick and Norah would be close to unwatchable. Even with them, it’s little more than a snarky, self-satisfied, slightly painful stab at hipness of the flavor-of-the-week variety. Rated PG-13 for mature thematic material, including teen drinking, sexuality, language and crude behavior.

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About Ken Hanke
Head film critic for Mountain Xpress since December 2000. Author of books "Ken Russell's Films," "Charlie Chan at the Movies," "A Critical Guide to Horror Film Series," "Tim Burton: An Unauthorized Biography of the Filmmaker."

56 thoughts on “Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist

  1. movie fan

    there were some awkward moments in this movie that were hard to get over like every time that gum was passed around, yuck

  2. Reply

    This is what sells, buddy.

    I agree with most of your points, espeically dealing with them being so young and acting so much older.

    TOTALLY agree.

    But, unfortunately, the world doesn’t work that way and you need to live with that.

    Sex sells. Teenage ‘love’ sells. How many people would show up to the theatres to watch this film if it dealt with kids having to act responsibly?

    Take a look at all of the movies out nowadays. Take a look at the profit of these movies.

    Get with the times. I’m not saying I’m in favor of this. I’m not; but Cera and Dennings are still getting paid. What else really matters?

  3. Ken Hanke

    Sex sells. Teenage ‘love’ sells. How many people would show up to the theatres to watch this film if it dealt with kids having to act responsibly?

    I’m not saying that sex doesn’t sell, and I actually have no problem with that. I’d have no problem with that aspect of this movie if these kids ever once expressed any concern over getting into trouble with their parents for being out all night in NYC. As it stands, I find the film utterly unbelievable in this regard. I’d have no problem with the film is the characters were college students. This isn’t a question of the movie’s morality, but its realism — or lack thereof.

    Get with the times. I’m not saying I’m in favor of this. I’m not; but Cera and Dennings are still getting paid. What else really matters?

    A great deal else matters so far as I’m concerned, but I really suspect we’re coming at this from two different perspectives for different reasons.

  4. Reply

    Uh…realism?

    Realism is the practicality of something.

    Something that is realistic.
    And what do morals have to do with anything that I said?

    And the fact that you said you wouldn’t mind them being college students…that proves my point.You want realistic? Go watch a documentary. Hollywood thrives on movies like this.

    And kids expressing concern for what? Getting in trouble with their PARENTS? Like any kid would actually do that; I admit, it was odd how no mention of Nick’s parents or The Jerk-Offs members parents were never mentioned but hey, had it ever occurred to you that there are parents out there who don’t care about where there kids are?

    It’s sad, but completely true. Majority of the youth population’s parents really don’t care. Half of the time you see more teenagers roaming the streets than adults.

    And what I meant with Dennings and Cera comment was that do you think they care? They’re getting paid, fine. They don’t care what the older audience wants to see. The film was aimed for teens, so teens are going to like it. Teens are not looking for realism. They are looking for entertainment.

  5. Ken Hanke

    And what do morals have to do with anything that I said?

    Sorry if I misread you, but it was what I got from your statements like “Sex sells. Teenage ‘love’ sells. How many people would show up to the theatres to watch this film if it dealt with kids having to act responsibly?” That and the fact that you said you weren’t “in favor of this.”

    And the fact that you said you wouldn’t mind them being college students…that proves my point.You want realistic? Go watch a documentary. Hollywood thrives on movies like this

    Actually, I’m well aware that Hollywood thrives on this sort of thing — though this particular instance isn’t what you’d call a huge hit. It dropped 42% in its second week and didn’t start off that strongly to begin with. “Teen love” apparently doesn’t stack up so hot against talking dogs or Shia LeBeouf and things blowing up neat. As for realism, I’m only talking about within the context of the story, which seems lacking here in a way that I don’t think it was lacking in, say, Juno.

    And kids expressing concern for what? Getting in trouble with their PARENTS? Like any kid would actually do that

    Oh, I disagree.

    I admit, it was odd how no mention of Nick’s parents or The Jerk-Offs members parents were never mentioned but hey, had it ever occurred to you that there are parents out there who don’t care about where there kids are?

    Oh, I know that such people exist, but so completely across the board as presented here? Out of a group of seven underage kids there’s not a single one who is answerable to his or her parents? And none of those parents are in the least concerned about their kids being gone all night? Maybe my cynicism isn’t strong enough, but I find that hard to buy.

    And what I meant with Dennings and Cera comment was that do you think they care? They’re getting paid, fine. They don’t care what the older audience wants to see.

    But this is my concern why? My concern is to see the film and offer my opinion on it. It never occurred to me that the actors care what I think or what any other critic thinks.

    The film was aimed for teens, so teens are going to like it. Teens are not looking for realism. They are looking for entertainment.

    Well, again, they’re not exactly lining up in droves for this, which indicates to me that a broad “teens are going to like it” is at the very least something of a generalized overstatement. much like saying, “Majority of the youth population’s parents really don’t care.” But even if all this was gospel, does it present a compelling reason for not criticizing the film?

  6. brebro

    We had free tickets to “RIghteous Kill” but did not actually want to see it, so we accidentally wandered into the wrong theater and saw this instead. I thought it was okay, but I can’t argue with any of the points and observations Mr. Hanke made in his review.

  7. Reply

    I’m sorry but this is why the older generation should not watch teen movies. It’s called entertainment.You question too much and challenge what society is.

  8. Justin Souther

    You question too much and challenge what society is.

    Wait, I thought this was what the younger generation’s job?

    And as someone of a so-called “younger generation,” I can safely say that I thought this movie was garbage.

    You can talk all night and day about how this movie was made for a certain demographic, and how the actors don’t care because they’re getting paid, but that’s the main reason that the movie’s no good. The entire movie just oozes phony and feels like it was made for focus grouped to hell in order to fleece a quick buck off of teens who liked Juno (never mind that Juno appealed to a wider ranging audience).

  9. Reply

    How the HELL is Juno better?

    Like honestly…a teenage pregnancy on a one time sex encounter? How is that any better? How is that entire CONCEPT any better?

    Yeah, it doesn’t really matter if you thought it was garbage. I’m not referring to this movie or you. I’m referring to any teen movie (American Pie, Hard Candy, Blue Lagoon)

    And yes, you’re right. That IS the younger generation’s job. That’s exactly what I said; why are you repeating me?? Of course we challenge soceity- were the new generation for God’s sake. Sooner or later WE’RE going to be the working class people, not the previous people.

    And what is with the constant reference to Juno anyways? I would have thought that since you obviously have such strong views that you could back up with a FEW more movies than that.

    Did you even read the book to begin with? Hm? And yeah, granted, we’re not talking about the book. But perhaps if you read the novel, it would not “ooze” phony.

    Cause hey, get with the problem. Live with it. Life is fake. That;s Hollywood and they are still making money.

    Once again…you can accept a sixteen-year-old something getting pregnant but you can’t accept a wild night out on N.Y.C for just a few laughs, even if it’s kinda silly?

    Uptight. There is such a thing as letting down your standards to just enjoy the silliness of things. People are far too logical when it comes to the simplest of things.

    And yeah, I WILL talk night and day if it means proving my point.

  10. Reply

    Ken, correct me if I’m wrong, but have you read the book?

    These kids aren’t 20. Norah and Nick are 18.

  11. “And yes, you’re right. That IS the younger generation’s job. That’s exactly what I said; why are you repeating me?? Of course we challenge soceity- were the new generation for God’s sake. Sooner or later WE’RE going to be the working class people, not the previous people.”

    If you really want to challenge society, then don’t support the crap that Hollywood is spoon feeding you.

  12. Ken Hanke

    I’m sorry but this is why the older generation should not watch teen movies. It’s called entertainment.You question too much and challenge what society is.

    Excuse me for not being 18 and callow, but just exactly when did being entertainment equal being mediocre? The fact that you (I’m assuming you’re young) question and challenge nothing is a truly sad commentary.

  13. Ken Hanke

    How the HELL is Juno better?

    The characters and situations are believable, the dialogue is clever and not loaded down with clunkers like “I refuse to be the goodie bag at your pity party,” the acting is better and more nuanced, the soundtrack is better, the film has some actual emotional resonance…Shall I go on?

    And yes, you’re right. That IS the younger generation’s job. That’s exactly what I said; why are you repeating me?? Of course we challenge soceity- were the new generation for God’s sake.

    No, that’s exactly what you didn’t say. You said that the older generation questions too much and challenges what society is, as opposed to just accepting whatever slop is thrown out there and writing off its shortcomings because it’s “called entertainment.”

    And what is with the constant reference to Juno anyways? I would have thought that since you obviously have such strong views that you could back up with a FEW more movies than that.

    Probably because this movie is a Juno wanna-be. I could rattle off a string of youth-culture movies dating back to the 60s that make this look pretty damn lame, but even if I couldn’t it wouldn’t make this good by default.

    Cause hey, get with the problem. Live with it. Life is fake. That;s Hollywood and they are still making money.

    I feel very sorry for your worldview. Why would anyone want to “get with the problem?” And I certainly don’t agree that “Life is fake.” And how that relates to Hollywood is something I can’t even connect up. And the fact that they’re making money justifies nothing.

    Once again…you can accept a sixteen-year-old something getting pregnant but you can’t accept a wild night out on N.Y.C for just a few laughs, even if it’s kinda silly?

    If that’s your idea of a wild night, you should get out and live some more.

    Uptight. There is such a thing as letting down your standards to just enjoy the silliness of things. People are far too logical when it comes to the simplest of things.

    I see no reason why I should be expected to lower my standards for the sake of a bad movie.

    And yeah, I WILL talk night and day if it means proving my point.

    Well, so far you haven’t proved your point to me.

    Ken, correct me if I’m wrong, but have you read the book?

    No, and that ought not be a requirement for seeing the movie.

    These kids aren’t 20. Norah and Nick are 18.

    Exactly, and that goes back to one of my original criticisms — that I’d at least believe this story if they were college kids

  14. Ken Hanke

    If you really want to challenge society, then don’t support the crap that Hollywood is spoon feeding you.

    Exactly.

  15. Reply

    Seek first to understand then to be understood. Ever heard? Didn’t think so; you continually twist my words around, but you aren’t understanding me right.

    Let me try and understand your perspective: You think N & N is a garbage movie because it is phony and fake and ridiculous.

    Please correct me if I am wrong.

    Okay, now I will correct YOU.

    Who said I’m “supporting” the crap that Hollywood is “spoon feeding me?” I have never actually said that I enjoy Hollywood entertainment to the extent where I would support stupidity all of the time. Granted, I said SOMETIMES it’s fun to watch a silly movie once in a while. But I’ve never said that I supported Hollywood. With all due respect, GET YOUR FACTS STRAIGHT and like I said, twisting my words won’t always work :)

    Imagine this: There are 100 people. 90 of those people buy magazines that have the skinniest models and most expensive product advertising. The other 10 continue to go about their daily lives.

    You can’t help it if so many people actually do support Hollywood. It’s what people like, what they want to hear.

    Digressing from my original point, why are other people commenting on an argument between Ken and I? I’m sorry but this does not concern you. I’m not interested in what you have to say, I’m interested in Mr. Hanke’s views at the moment.

    Thirdly. This movies WAS admittedly pushing the silly level, in dealing with Ari Graynor’s parts. But really, you seem very selective in what you choose to like and dislike. This story is so goddammn original, I swear I laughed when I heard the story. I thought, “Hey, this finally isn’t some stupid romantic comedy. We have some new ideas to build with.”

    Hollywood seems to progress, well not really progress, but seems to thrive in bringing back the old and making whatever out of it.

    This story, as weird and perhaps disgusting, is not phony or fake. It’s fresh, original and really sweet. I think perhaps the actors chosen for the job may not have expressed the roles as they should have but really, they were awesome. “Heartbroken” teens looking for a nice night out. Not some typical story of two people meeting at a party, “faling in love” and having issues after.

    This was real; these two characters really enhanced a REAL teen’s persepctive on life. Life isn’t a fairy tale; which is why I violently dislike Juno.

    Why is it you can’t accept a quirky love story opposed to a very unsettling one? Sixteen year old girls getting pregnant, getting support from their family and meeting a guy isn’t my idea of “realism” as you put it. That’s just Hollywood pulling another happy ending. Sorry but that’s just not my cuppa.

    And my question as to whether you read the book was not meant in a bad way. I was simply asking, out of interest, if perhaps this was a comparison to the novel.

    I’m really sorry Mr. Hanke but EXCUSE me? I should get out and live some more? What RIGHT do you HAVE, sir, to say that to me? And how hypcritical can you get?

    You claim that these teens are too young to be engaging in such activities yet the night is not wild? So what is it then? Fine, maybe wild was exaggertaing. How about different? Interesting, new. You seem stuck in the past. I like new concepts; I’m sick of hearing about teen pregnancies.

    Once again, Mr. Hanke, I continue to get frustrated by your method of arguing. Taking me word for word; ever heard of implications, inference? First of all, you have absolutely no right to criticize my “world view”.

    Ah, typo. Get with the program. I’m not saying to SETTLE, just accept what is what for now and perhaps in time, when we get the opportunity to voice our thoughts, we can state how we feel about certain aspects of the superficial society.

    And life is fake? Hm. Maybe you’re right; PEOPLE are fake. My motto is learn the rules, play the game. So yes, life is fake. We have to learn how to adapt this to our own wants and needs and make what we want to happen. YOU obviously have not gotten “out there and lived” if you hadn’t realized that most of what we say is a bunch of B.S. And I swear, Mr. Hanke, if you say “Well, I refuse to believe that, or “B.S?” or something of that sort, I refuse to continue this discussion with you. You seem to focussed on YOUR argument, you fail to understand mine.

    Ah, but you said they were “Twenty somethings, acting like they were 17.” Kind of paradoxical if you ask me.

    Oh? I question and challenge nothing? I won’t even comment on that. Your redundant argument to my ignorance and stupidity is really pissing me off. You seem to think by that simply watching a Hollywood movie, you know exactly what I’m all about. Don’t assume things you don’t know.

    Ha. A Juno-wannabe. I highly doubt that; unlike Juno, this is original. Juno is like a Jamie Lynn Spears biography. Sad. Truly is.

    I deeply apologize for not being clear in my statements concerning: Challenging soceity.

    Perhaps I should expand.

    The younger generation is very lazy and stupid. They have been raised to “act as they wish” and “express their emotions” (aka throw tantrums whenever the hell they feel necassary) and I feel positively ashamed to be apart of such a lackingly productive society.

    However. Times have changed in terms of what the audience wants to see; Mr. Hanke, what you’re saying, in a metaphor is like this:

    All magazines and models feature such phony and fake models.

    You get my point. People want that: have you ever heard of target marketing? You know what the people want, you give that to them. For instance, if the latest cell phones are slides, you produce slide cell phones as new merchandise. This is stupid comedy, but comedy nonetheless. Why do you think so many people waste away in front of those mindless reality t.v shows? They want entertainment, regardless of what it may be. If it’s because they want to see others suffer or be humiliated, I don’t honestly know. But the point is, it does matter to the actors

    You said the actors don’t care. Fair enough…in only one meaning of the words. Would you hire actors again if they failed miserably in their latest screw up? IT does matter to them; just like you want to be recognized as a person who did his work well so you’re hired again, they have the same requirement. They are still working individuals, no matter how young.

    Mr Hanke, who said I was 18 and who said I was callow? And mediocre? I can’t even begin to tell you how wrong you are. You seem to be the kind of person who judges way too easily. Do you know who I am? What I am recognized for? What I stand for?

    No. You do not.

    Do you see ME insulting you? Granted, I called you the older generation. But have I called you stupid? Immature? Mediocre?

    If you were planning to become a businessman, I suggest not. You seem to think the only way by winning an argument is truly insutling another person.

    Stop. I don’t appreciate it. I’m not arguing you, I’m arguing your opinion. Keep your personal views out. I really don’t care to hear them.

    Really, if you wish to insult during what I would have hoped (considering you “seem” to be the “adult” here) that you would have kept this professional and left the digs out.

    I would like to end this argument with a famous saying: we agree to disagree.

    I refuse to argue with you any further, someone who is just, quite frankly, rude.

  16. Louis

    Digressing from my original point, why are other people commenting on an argument between Ken and I? I’m sorry but this does not concern you.

    This is a Weblog–a virtual social network. This translates into two or MORE people. If you want to enter into a private dialogue with Mr. Hanke, click his name at the top left under the movie title, which is a hyperlink, and send him a private email. Though, I suspect, he’ll likely be pissed at me for suggesting this, and then promptly set his email account to quarantine incoming email from you due to perpetuating viral content. How apropos.

    In the meantime, congratulations on breaking the Mountain Xpress record for the most longwinded, hollow posting in the history of its COMMUNITY “Movie Reviews” Weblog.

    Well done.

    I’m not interested in what you have to say, I’m interested in Mr. Hanke’s views at the moment.

    Whadda ‘ya know?–we have this mutual sentiment in common.

  17. Pinkfrost

    Goodness gracious Reply, you certainly have a knack for twisting things.
    Ken Kanke posted a brilliant movie review, and you bash him for the most trivial of things.
    What YOU fail to understand is that this is a movie review. It is MEANT to anaylze, comment, and be cynical. That’s what movie reviews are for.

  18. Ken Hanke

    you continually twist my words around, but you aren’t understanding me right.

    Perhaps you aren’t expressing yourself right. First you tell me, “I agree with most of your points” (after rudely starting off with, “This is what sells, buddy”). You then proceed disagree with the views, and tell me (again rudely), “the world doesn’t work that way and you need to live with that.” (It’s you who started with the confrontational tone, if you haven’t noticed.)

    Then you later come up with, “I’m sorry but this is why the older generation should not watch teen movies. It’s called entertainment.You question too much and challenge what society is.” Then when someone else points out that questioning and challenging are supposed to be the function of the young, you get bent out of shape and come back with, “And yes, you’re right. That IS the younger generation’s job. That’s exactly what I said; why are you repeating me?? Of course we challenge soceity- were the new generation for God’s sake.” Excuse me, but he wasn’t repeating you, because you said that I — the representative of the older generation — shouldn’t watch teen movies because I “question too much and challenge what society is.”

    Who said I’m “supporting” the crap that Hollywood is “spoon feeding me?”

    Ever hear of inference? It’s pretty easy to infer that when you argued (originally) that questioning and challenging are a negative thing. (But for the record, I’m not the one that said that.)

    Digressing from my original point, why are other people commenting on an argument between Ken and I? I’m sorry but this does not concern you. I’m not interested in what you have to say, I’m interested in Mr. Hanke’s views at the moment

    What an incredibly rude thing to say. Look, if you want to have an argument strictly between you and me, you should make arrangements to meet with me or do so in personal correspondence. This is a public forum. As such, the minute you post an idea, it does concern anyone who chooses to have something to say about it.

    But really, you seem very selective in what you choose to like and dislike.

    Unless you’re (I’m using the term universally, not
    specifically referring to you) utterly fake and a self-construct made completely of affectations, you don’t choose to like or dislike things. You simply like them or you don’t, though I grant you that my likes and dislikes are pretty selective. Otherwise, you’re utterly indiscriminate and undiscerning.

    You can’t help it if so many people actually do support Hollywood. It’s what people like, what they want to hear.

    Well, considering that Nick and Norah has only done $21 million at the box office and is continuing to drop off, it’s hardly a good example, especially when you put it up against the much-hated (by you) Juno with its US gross of $143 million. It would appear that Juno is a better example of what people like.

    I’m really sorry Mr. Hanke but EXCUSE me? I should get out and live some more? What RIGHT do you HAVE, sir, to say that to me?

    What right have you to tell me I’m too old to be watching something? What right have you to tell me that I need to learn to live with it? You have a very funny way of practicing rudeness and expecting nothing but politeness in return.

    I’m not saying to SETTLE, just accept what is what for now and perhaps in time, when we get the opportunity to voice our thoughts, we can state how we feel about certain aspects of the superficial society.

    What is preventing you from voicing those thoughts now?

    Ha. A Juno-wannabe. I highly doubt that; unlike Juno, this is original.

    First of all, it’s clear that the film was intended to cash in on the popularity of Juno. Second, this movie is not original. A large chunk of it is pilferred straight out of Adventures in Babysitting.

    You said the actors don’t care.

    No, I said the actors don’t care what I think.

    Mr Hanke, who said I was 18 and who said I was callow?

    I never said you were. I said I wasn’t and was apologizing for being too old to have an opinion on this film — a concept of yours.

    And mediocre?

    And I never said that you were mediocre. I said the film is mediocre.

    Do you know who I am?

    Of course, I don’t. You post under the assumed name of “reply.” How could I possibly know who you are?

    Do you see ME insulting you?

    Yes, and everyone else who has posted here.

    You seem to think the only way by winning an argument is truly insutling another person.

    And you’ve been doing…what?

    I’m not arguing you, I’m arguing your opinion. Keep your personal views out.

    My opinions are my personal views.

    I refuse to argue with you any further, someone who is just, quite frankly, rude.

    Well, now that you’ve worked yourself up into a Groucho Marx-like frame of mind where you’ve talked yourself into a state that went from being interested in discussing this with only me to a point of refusing to discuss it at all, I doubt there’s much more to be said.

  19. Ezekiel

    I don’t mean to insult anyone, but I seriously wonder if “Reply” is even a real person and not a spam-bot.

  20. “I don’t mean to insult anyone, but I seriously wonder if “Reply” is even a real person and not a spam-bot.”

    No, they are not a spambot, but a kid in high school. And I’m still trying to guess what actor in this movie reply has a crush on. They hate JUNO, so it’s not Michael Cera.

  21. ColdRyder

    I’ ve sent you a private email Please open the message; it might say high risk or whatever butjust open it. All my emails do that from Mountain X so no worries. I’m looking forward to a result.

  22. brebro

    “Ah, but you said they were “Twenty somethings, acting like they were 17.” Kind of paradoxical if you ask me.”

    I took that to mean that the ACTORS were real-life twentysomethings playing the roles of teenagers in the film, not that the characters were twentysomethings pretending to be 17.

    Oh, sorry, this is none of my business.

  23. Ken Hanke

    I took that to mean that the ACTORS were real-life twentysomethings playing the roles of teenagers in the film, not that the characters were twentysomethings pretending to be 17.

    That was the meaning, yes.

  24. Grafton Bragg

    I completely agree with Mr. Hanke. This is potentially the worst movie I’ve ever seen. At one point I truly believed that Cera and the rest of the cast had different writers, but this was just because Cera is the only actor in this movie who can deliver a line. As for the one who said older people shouldn’t watch teen movies. If you don’t care about any sort of substance in a movie, then why on earth are you reading critical reviews?

  25. imprint

    I can see all of Mr. Hanke’s points, and I do agree that yes, this film really is a Juno knock off, and that the writers were trying to hard to be Diablo Cody and that the entire thing felt contrived and designed for a specific audience. That said, I think it is about time some addressed this audience!

    The sad truth is, lots of teens on Long Island (like Norah) and New Jersey (like Nick) grown up in fairly rich households (Norah goes to Sacred Heart High School, a pretty pricy all girls Catholic School) and, due to the geographical proximity to New York City and the relatively cheap train tickets, manage to make nights out like the one in the film quite frequently. Furthermore, many parents really don’t give a damn, and really could care less. My friends parents and my parents know that I go to the City on the weekend, but they do not ask very many questions. They know that I get back, and that’s enough. Caroline’s constant drunkness alludes already to a possible rocky upbringing, but it is never addressed in the film, because that’s what makes sense. Norah takes care of Caroline, she doesn’t ask questions. Sadly, life on Long Island in the suburbs is a lot like that. you know your friends have problems, but you don’t say anything, it’s wrong, and you know it, but at the end of the day you are just out to have fun, it just seems like that’s the only thing that feels right.

    I expect that soon my words will be placed in bold and shown back to me by someone, accompanied by somethings that will read something like “I am oh so sorry for your bleak world view imprint” but I don’t care. Life in different parts of the country is different. And it was refreshing to see a film that portrayed the average weekend of teens on Long Island traveling into New York City. I think that if the film had tried to accomplish this with another city, and another suburb, it would have failed miserably.

    Anyway, my point here was not at all to claim that Mr. Hanke’s review was incorrect. I agree with pretty much everything he is saying. I just think that people should not be so naive as to think that this kind of night out can only happen in college. Sadly, it happens all the time in High School.

  26. ColdRyder

    THANK YOU, IMPRINT!

    About time someone finally put into perspective what I have clearly failed to do. And I truly apologize for that. I do. But to be honest, if SOMEONE else knows your writing style (bolding and then insulting) I truly commend that person for finally biting back with so much more style that I was unable to produce clearly.

    Thank you for finally showing Mr. Hanke that!

  27. ColdRyder

    “Life in different parts of country is different”.

    How very correct you are.

    (I’m not taking this out of context like some other people happen to be)

    “Should not be so naive to think that this kind of night can only happen in college”

    I agree. And I am going to admit to being completely rude when I say this next comment.

    Obviously you guys never went to high school if you hadn;t realized already that this kind of things DO happen in high school, as Imprint stated.

    Like I said (as you said I said it rudely. Maybe YOU just don’t want to accept the truth) Get with the program.

    “Refreshing to see a film that portrayed the average weekend”

    I agree. Juno is totally UNREALISTIC> How in the hell is a sixteen year old getting pregnant appeal to audiences? What, does it just encourgae the behaviour even more?

    Fabulous then.

    MR Hanke, you aren’t a girl. You aren’t sixteen. NEither am I but at least I happen to understand what it might be liked to be sixteen and with child. You on the other hand will NEVER have to carry that burden.

    Completely biased idiots. And yeah, I am being rude. But as of now, getting a bit of support from Imprint, I don’t really give a shit.

    “Bolded and replied with somethings like “Iam oh so sorry for your bleak world view imprint”

    You see how rude you can be when you totally and utterly shoot down someone else’s “view imprint?” Funny…

    This is why I said: Older people shouldn’t watch movies if they obviously aren’;t aware of what’s going on in the world in terms of teens night activites. You obviously don’t and also don’t remember what is what like back in high school when you yourself were 17.

    Learn how to adapt.

    And no, not “lowering your standards” as you so rudely put it. Just viewing what the world is really like in a corny and silly comedy film.

  28. ColdRyder

    “Naive”

    Once again Imprint, EXCELLENT job. I am embarassed I was unable to get my point across without being sketchy but depsite the fact that Mr. Hanke WILL bold your comments and turn them around on you, I personally think that was said quite well.

  29. ColdRyder

    And you DO realize, Mr Hanke, that Ellen Page (Juno McGraff) is a twenty something acting 16?

    Thought you should know.

  30. Justin Souther

    Obviously you guys never went to high school if you hadn;t realized already that this kind of things DO happen in high school, as Imprint stated.

    Even though I am not Ken, I can honestly say that — believe it or not — I did go to high school. Amazing, I know.

    At the same time, actually having completed high school, I can say that a lot of things happened there. It was a whole cornucopia of events. I mean, one time, I played soft ball during PE class. Then again, that doesn’t really mean anyone wants to watch a movie of that, right?

    These kids in this movie have little going for them. They’re dull and banal and often times obnoxious. That whole Cure conversation might be the most insipid thing I’ve seen on a movie screen all year. I knew people in high school like that and never in a million years did I think they deserved a movie made about them. What goes on in this “wild night” just isn’t all that interesting. I’ve had more exciting nights than this, and I’m about as wanton as the Pope.

    This is why I said: Older people shouldn’t watch movies if they obviously aren’;t aware of what’s going on in the world in terms of teens night activites. You obviously don’t and also don’t remember what is what like back in high school when you yourself were 17.

    In that case, since I’m under the impression that you aren’t even of high school age, what right do you have to comment on movies set in high school?

    I agree. Juno is totally UNREALISTIC>

    How?

    And you do realize people like this movie for more reasons than that ol’ crowd pleaser of teen pregnancy, right?

    MR Hanke, you aren’t a girl. You aren’t sixteen. You on the other hand will NEVER have to carry that burden.

    Now there’s a movie I’d pay to watch.

  31. Ken Hanke

    Oh, and, by the way, bolding quotations is not some kind of veiled insult, it’s a standard way (particularly on this site) of separating the quote from the reply. That’s all it is.

  32. Ken Hanke

    How in the hell is a sixteen year old getting pregnant appeal to audiences?

    Well, it appears to be about seven times more appealing to audiences than Nick & Norah, whatever the reason is. Oh, right, I forgot, you’re not interested in a thing’s popularity except when you point it out as in your assessment that “This is what sells, buddy.”

  33. ColdRyder

    Then I suppose we agree to disagree.

    (you couldn’t possibly find a way to twist those words around either could you? :) )

  34. ColdRyder

    (And I thought I should mention that you were selctive in your replies. Did you seem my comment on Ellen Page…? Anyhow, seeing as you seem to find the time to reply to these comments, why is it you can’t find the time to make a quick reply to the email I spent time writing to you?

    Regardless. Like in my last comment: I disagree. No matter how much you turn your words on me, I really don’t care. My views aren’t changing because fifty people decide to bold the ones they want and leave the rest.

  35. Justin Souther

    And I thought I should mention that you were selctive in your replies. Did you seem my comment on Ellen Page…?

    I don’t believe Ken ever said anywhere that Ellen Page being in her twenties wasn’t a problem, so it’s a moot point. At the same time, she’s much more believable as a teen than, say, 26-year-old Jay Baruchel playing either a teen or some skeazy 22-year-old who was in a sexual relationship with a 14-year-old girl.

  36. ColdRyder

    Uh, they never had sex.

    And if you look the part, I think it kind of works.

    And if you hand’t realized already, there are plenty of older people who are in relatinships with younger people.

    And on your point about me not being in high and making comments…hey, I might not be in high school but I’m not so ignorant and naive to think that those things only happen in college. I am fully aware of what goes on in high school, considering I know plenty of people from high schoo. Even back in the 60′s, if you went that far back, they still doped up on weed and coke and had sex. There really is no difference. In fact, it might really be worse than it was back forty years ago.

    You on the other hand act, from what I can read, seem to think that teens in high school don’t engage in such activities. First you (not you directly) say it’s not a wild night but then you say teens shouldn’t be allowed to do such things. Which is it?? You also seem to think that teens are clean, abstinent little beings. I beg to differ. And bold that comment, feel free, and say “That’s not what I said at all…” or whatever, but you might want to read the rest before stopping there to make some snarky comeback in a total twist to my words. But yeah, that IS what you’ve done. BUT, 16 year old girls getting all preggers seems to be okay for a high school kid? Pick a side.

    I don’t understand Mr. Souther’s comment AT ALL. Ol’ crowd pleaser for teen pregnancy? Uh yeah, that is the WHOLE reason people’s attention got caught. Like I said, Jamie Lynn Spears on film.

    The whole concept of getting pregnant at 16 and turning that whole very serious situation into a goddamn comedy movie is completely beyond me.

    “My tantrum breakdown?” Sure, whatever you say. Sorry for actually disagreeing with you, Almighty Hanke.

  37. ColdRyder

    “Bolding quotations”

    (Sorry didn’t want to copy the whole thing, but that whole comment basically)

    Oh I beg to differ. All I can see is you taking parts of a paragrpah out of context.

  38. ColdRyder

    Oh and Mr. Souther, I don’t believe I asked if you would “pay to watch a movie” like that.

    See? Taking things out of context. Did you even comprehend the actual meaning of those words?

    Oh. Of course not. Sorry. Forgot. Shouldn’t have asked.

  39. ColdRyder

    Hey Mr. Souther, in regard to what YOU did in high school, I don’t really care that much. I was saying, in regard to kids NOWADAYS. Wanton as a pope, huh?

    Sure. Yet what was that…? “More exciting nights?” Huh. How tricky to understand. I’m SURE you were all responsibile in high school and whatnot, I understand that the entire population is not completely delinquent. HOWEVER. We’re talking what majority of teens do. And if going out by themselves, no parental supervision, so be it.

  40. Ken Hanke

    Anyhow, seeing as you seem to find the time to reply to these comments, why is it you can’t find the time to make a quick reply to the email I spent time writing to you?

    First of all, it’s one thing to make a quick response to a comment or two. It’s another to sit down and try to tackle that lengthty screed you sent. You know nothing about my workload or my schedules or what my deadlines and responsibilities are. (You’re 12 years old, I doubt you know all that much about any of those things period.) And if you honestly think that after your childish ranting today, I have the least intention of bothering answering your letter, you are sadly in error.

    You lost all possibility of any attempt at me being cordial to you with this –

    Completely biased idiots. And yeah, I am being rude. But as of now, getting a bit of support from Imprint, I don’t really give a shit.

    Yes, I threw your words back at you. And, no, they are not out of context (a phrase you use, but have no idea what it means). If you don’t like having the things you say thrown back at you, you perhaps ought to think before you say them, or perhaps you ought not to say them at all.

    You are a rude, disrespectful, arrogant little boy with a fair vocabulary for your age, but you haven’t a clue how to argue a point, and you’ve no earthly notion how to speak to people and have them respond to you in a civil tone. You came on here evidencing a combatative and insulting tone, and you have continued to do so ever since. You have been rude to every person you have addressed on this thread with the exception of “Imprint.” Even in your letter, you didn’t bother to ask me if we could start over at square one, you told me that that was what we were going to do. I apparently have no say in the matter. You make all the calls. Do you talk to your mother, your teachers or even your friends like that?

    Your intelligence may be pretty good, but your social skills are non-existent. You have received exactly the kind of responses you have deserved, because you’re getting back exactly what you gave. You want respect? Then, by God, you better show some. That is the way the world works. Get with the program.

    You, by the way, are the one who takes things out of context and twists them (or maybe you simply don’t comprehend what’s actually been said). You also constantly shift your arguments to suit yourself — or maybe when you realize you didn’t say what you meant to say.

    And, by the way, if “Uh, they never had sex” refers to Norah and her boyfriend, then you’re way off base in your claim so far as the film is concerned. They’ve certainly had something of the sort because a big issue is made out of the fact that she’s never been able to have an orgasm with him.

    And this, by the way, is my last word to you on this or any other topic — at least until you learn to conduct yourself in a civil manner.

  41. Justin Souther

    And bold that comment, feel free, and say “That’s not what I said at all…” or whatever

    But I didn’t say that…

  42. ColdRyder

    “Conduct myself in a civil manner.”

    You’re not going to reply to this, I know, but I want to make one thing clear.

    You don’t know how to argue.

  43. ColdRyder

    You don’t know my argument well enough to argue it. I suggest you’re “standard” of bolding comments should end now. I have officially gone crazy trying to explain myself and apolgoize when all you care about is the slightest detail that doesn’t appeal to what you want.

  44. Mummer

    ColdRyder, I think most of the problems resulted from your unnecessarily confrontational tone. If you could just to be a bit more civil and polite, I think you’d find the responses to you will be as well.

  45. Ken Hanke

    I think most of the problems resulted from your unnecessarily confrontational tone. If you could just to be a bit more civil and polite, I think you’d find the responses to you will be as well.

    That’s it in a nutshell, but I honestly don’t think ColdRyder even understands that he was unnecessarily confrontational.

  46. dave

    Ken, this is obviously a movie for the average joe-six-pack, with is why you cant understand its comedic brilliance!

  47. Ken Hanke

    Ken, this is obviously a movie for the average joe-six-pack, with is why you cant understand its comedic brilliance!

    Hey, I can get you passes if you’d like…

  48. ColdRyder

    I don’t think he bothered responding because he knew he’d probably generate an immature argument.

    I mean, it’s only natural that you would do something like that, right? :)

    And don’t off saying “You’re wrong, you started this” I KNOW I’m right and that’s good enough for me, thanks. :)

  49. shadmarsh

    Reading this thread is like watching a movie so bad it’s good…and I think Mr. Hanke should get some sort of reward or honor or plaque for having more patience than would seems humanly possible.

  50. tatuaje

    Wow….I mean….wow…

    Do they not teach kids how to debate in school anymore?

    It’s like a glimpse into the 12 year old mind of Nam Vet….

    Reading this thread is like watching a movie so bad it’s good…and I think Mr. Hanke should get some sort of reward or honor or plaque for having more patience than would seems humanly possible.

    Get out of my head shadmarsh…

  51. Steven Adam Renkovish

    Wow. This film elicited some heated responses on this message board! Hmmm.

    Well, we’ll have to respectfully agree to disagree on this one, seeing that I really, really liked it. However, it seems as though this wasn’t everyone’s cup of tea, which is understandable.

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