I read Rachel Cohn and David Levithan’s incredible collaborative novel, Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist, a year ago at the end of last summer and I loved it so much I could barely contain my excitement when I found out they were making a movie out of it, starring the funny, sharp, adorably awkward Michael Cera as Nick no less. I’ve been waiting for over a year to see this movie, and I got as close to considering stalking a movie set as I’ve ever been when I found out they were filming last fall on the LES, but I didn’t go–I’m not really a wait around forever just to see movie stars sort of person. But I considered it, which means a lot for me.
Anyway, me and my friends Nikki, Cambria and Abby went to see it in Chelsea last night. So amazing! Well, first we went to Dallas BBQ, which always rocks my world, although I did get ketchup all over myself, which is par for the course but still highly annoying. We like the Chelsea Clearview Theater because the popcorn is particularly good, but I had a big eating day yesterday and could not consume any, to my abject horror. But whatever!
The movie was particularly fun because a lot of it takes place in what I consider sort of “my New York.” Lots of shots of the main characters running around the East Village, where I spend a disproportionate amount of my time considering I live nowhere near there, and Nick and Norah and the whole crew first try to find Where’s Fluffy? at Union Pool (in the movie they call it Brooklyn Pool), which is literally down the street from where my best friend Cambria lives in Williamsburg.
I have a lot of conversations, mainly with my coworker Sunil, about how the New York you see in movies and TV is practically unrecognizable to people who live here, and I actually think of “movie New York” as a completely separate place than real New York–the city showcased in things like Sex and the City is just as much a fantasy for me as it is for everyone who doesn’t live here, because it barely resembles New York the way it really is.
But the New York of Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist felt familiar to me, and I think they did a pretty good job of capturing it the way it is, for the most part. Maybe that’s because my life in a way resembles that of the main characters of the movie/novel–lots of running around to different bars in different neighborhoods, seeing people you know even though New York has 10 million people and you think you’d be safe, with the parts featuring Caroline PARTICULARLY realistic and uncomfortably familiar to me and my friends. Cambria lamented, “That means we’re like high schoolers,” but actually I think that it means that the main characters are acting more like they’re in their twenties. The only thing I found highly unrealistic was all the driving and miraculously finding places to park within seconds of arriving at a destination. There’s no reason to drive in New York, and definitely no parking in the Village on a Friday night. But, quibbles.
Like I said, the movie was excellent. I just got finished downloading the soundtrack a few minutes ago; I bought it because there was a new Vampire Weekend song you can’t download on its own (“Ottoman”), but the whole soundtrack is pretty fantastic, so I ponied up the twelve dollars and said to hell with it. I really loved Kat Dennings as Norah. I was afraid they’d try to gussy her up a little bit, but they didn’t, and they made sure she wasn’t whispy thin, because Norah in the books was such a real, flesh-and-blood girl who ate Ukranian food at three in the morning. Kat Dennings always reminds me of that Sex and the City episode where she plays the spoiled daughter of some tycoon who wants Samantha to plan her bat mitzvah (“that brat-mitzvah beast”, as Samantha calls her), but I recently saw her in Charlie Bartlett, and she is equally charming and warm and real in that movie. She and Michael Cera, who played Nick much closer to Paulie Bleeker from Juno than George Michael from Arrested Development, which was a good choice, had so much chemistry together. I can’t wait to buy this movie on DVD and watch it all the damn time.