Pillbox

Falling in love while searching for Fluffy

It’s hard to come by funny and realistic love stories these days, as most movies offer the same sappy storylines and predictable dialogues. But Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist, based on the book by the same name, is a break from this low standard.

With refreshing dialogue, nuanced characters, and a detailed plot, the movie is simultaneously comedic and sweet, keeping the audience hooked from start to finish.

Nick O’Leary (Michael Cera) is an awkward teenager, a music lover (his favorite band is the elusive Where’s Fluffy? — a band that plays at secret locations that can be found by following a trail of clues), and the bass guitarist for a queercore band “The Jerk-Offs,” and he is recently heart-broken because of his unexpected break-up with the super-hot and super-bitchy Tris (Alexis Dziena).

The first scene of the film opens with Nick recording his 12th mix tape for Tris, an attempt at winning her back. But unknown to him, Tris isn’t listening to any of his tapes and is instead throwing all of them away.

Norah Silverberg (Kat Dennings) is the daughter of a famous music producer and a music lover (her favorite band is also Where’s Fluffy?), and she is secretly in love with Nick, although she has never met him. Norah has become acquainted with Nick by listening to Tris’ discarded tapes and she loves Nick’s taste in music.

As is common to all plots, a big event takes place that throws everyone together, and the event for this movie is the appearance of Where’s Fluffy? The only question is: Where are they playing?

Norah and her friend Caroline (Ari Graynor) go watch Nick’s band perform, and Nick and Norah finally meet, although under hilarious circumstances.

Tris is also present at the performance as, being the vindictive person that she is, she wants to flaunt her new boyfriend in Nick’s face.

Because of Tris’ presence, Nick doesn’t pay much attention to Norah, but Nick’s gay friends Dev (Rafi Gavron) and Thom (Aaron Yoo) are ecstatic at Norah’s interest in him and decide to get the two together as they are sick of Nick’s moping.

In an attempt to give the two a chance to spend time alone, Dev and Thom offer to take the very drunk Caroline home, but later, they lose her as she wanders away.

After this, the movie follows Nick and Norah as they search, either for Caroline or for Where’s Fluffy?

Tris isn’t out of the picture yet. Jealous of Norah, she follows them and continuously sabotages their time together by reminding Nick of his heartbreak and puncturing Norah’s self-esteem.

During their search, Nick and Norah both discover more about each other, and about themselves. Nick comes to a decision about Tris and Nora opens up about her father.

Apart from the seriousness, much hilarity is provided by Caroline’s drunken antics, as she wanders her way from the dirty bathroom of a bus station to a gay Christmas cabaret, and by Nick’s friends’ jokes, as they travel around New York City in the early hours of the morning.

Nick and Norah is well made, as it weaves together different subplots seamlessly, never letting the story lose its pace. The actors do a good job with their roles, especially Cera, who portrays an awkward and pitiable Nick with ease.