The teen movie is like the irksome little sister of the film industry. It's there and sometimes it can be entertaining, but for the most part, life would be a lot less annoying if it would stop talking so much and quit reading your diary. But in Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist, director Peter Sollett (Raising Victor Vargas) has created a new genre entirely: the teen movie that caters, incredibly, to adults. The film follows Nick (Cera) and Norah (Dennings), high school seniors who spend a wild night in New York looking for the indie band Where's Fluffy? In typical teen movie fashion, the pair, y'know, like like each other - but watching their romance blossom is more reminiscent of Manhattan than She's All That.
Nick and Norah does fall into some typical teen-traps; a subplot involving a particularly disgusting piece of gum is completely unnecessary, and there is perhaps one gay joke too many. But overall, the stars' chemistry leads to a love story that sparkles onscreen, and the soundtrack lives up to the film title's promise. Cera's reliably deadpan performance makes Nick thoroughly lovable from the first scene, and Dennings brings an odd sleepiness to Norah that somehow makes the character decidedly more real. One of the most striking things about Nick and Norah is its location; the entire film takes place on the shimmering streets of New York at night. The city's beauty is transcendent on screen, and it becomes a third character, slowly pushing Nick and Norah together. Woody Allen would be proud.