Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist

Movie review by
Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media
Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist Movie Poster Image
Teen romcom is believable but on the edgy side.
  • PG-13
  • 2008
  • 90 minutes
Popular with kids

Parents say

age 15+
Based on 10 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 24 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive messages

On the plus side, there are some examples of strong friendships. On the down side, teens seem to live parent-less lives where, despite being underage, they can get into trendy clubs and bars, drink too much, and hook up with random people. Nick is the only straight guy in his band; his fellow musicians aren't portrayed stereotypically.

Violence

A guy punches another guy in the face.

Sex

Viewers hear a girl have an orgasm (prior that she and the guy are making out on a couch). A couple of other scenes show couples hooking up/making out. A girl does a striptease for a guy, but there's no nudity. Two teen girls discuss sex -- and, in particular, orgasms. A gay teen guy tells a girl to change bras to get rid of her "uniboob."

Language

Language includes words like "bitch," "ass," "s--t," and "a--hole."

Consumerism

Yugo, Gray's Papaya hot dogs, iPod, Mac computer.

Drinking, drugs & smoking

Underage teens drink to excess (one girl can barely figure out where she is) in bars/clubs. But the main teen characters don't drink.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this comedy is designed to appeal to the same hip teens who like Gossip Girl and Judd Apatow movies. Conversations about sex and relationships are candid and specific (for example, teen girls discuss orgasms in a convenience store), and several couples hook up, especially one drunk teen girl. In one scene, the camera cuts from a couple making out to the sound of the girl's orgasm. Although the main teen characters don't drink, plenty of other underage characters do. Language includes "s--t," "ass," "bitch," and the like. Product placement includes Mac computers, iPods, and Gray's Papaya hot dogs.

User Reviews

Parent of a 3, 11, and 16 year old Written byChocobug January 10, 2010

In a perfect world, I'm thinking 18 and older~

I was disappointed by the movie. My daughter saw it with friends before I had a chance to review it, and told me how funny it was. I watched it with her and wa... Continue reading
Adult Written bySuprKong March 20, 2012

You know you've found "the one" if they can give you an orgasm?

Funny and witty movie that could be very influential for teens. This movie romanticizes teen sexual behavior. Frequent straight and gay sex is treated as the... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byQwerty55 January 8, 2014

It's okay for preteens.

I really liked this movie. It's very funny and romantic. Nick and Norah are both role models but the people they spend time with aren't exactly. One o... Continue reading
Kid, 11 years old March 22, 2009

What's the story?

Nick (Michael Cera) is a sensitive high school senior who plays bass in a band, drives a beloved Yugo, and burns soul-baring compilation CDs for his ex-girlfriend Tris (Alexis Dziena). One night, Nick meets Tris' classmate Norah (Kat Dennings), a fellow indie rock lover, after a gig in Manhattan. The two instantly bond over their devotion to the fictional band Where's Fluffy, which is supposed to play at an undisclosed location in the city. While Nick and Norah search every possible club and bar for Fluffy, Nick's bandmates agree to drive Norah's drunk best friend home to New Jersey. What ensues is like Where's Waldo? meets Before Sunrise.

Is it any good?

Director Peter Sollett infuses this reasonably engaging film -- based on a young-adult novel by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan -- with the staples of most romantic comedies. There's the meet cute, a night out in New York City, comic-relief best friends, witty banter, and even a gross-out gag or two. And while the two protagonists -- especially go-to adolescent lead Cera -- are believable as hip-but-shy, sensitive-but-worldly, city-savvy-but-suburban-dwelling teens, parts of the film lag, get bogged down by the drunk-friend subplot, and just aren't as funny as the filmmakers intended.

What does work is the movie's vision of MySpace-generation teens as candid and tolerant. The teen culture in the film includes ubiquitous use of technology, gay and straight best friends, a rich record-company heiress who falls for a guy who drives a Yugo, girls who wear private school skirts by day and sexy mini skirts by night. This is the world that 21st-century teens live in, even if only a tiny fraction of them use New York's post-punk clubs and greasy spoons as their playground.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the real-life consequences of the characters' behavior, particularly the underage drinking. How do you think a night like the one in the movie would turn out in real life? Families can also discuss whether this movie offers a realistic depiction of today's teens. How do TV shows and movies usually portray urban-dwelling teens as opposed to suburban teens? The film makes teens seem very accepting of friends with different cultures and sexuality. Teens: Is that the case with your friends? Also, does the way the characters use technology seem realistic? How is media a part of teen daily life?

Movie details

For kids who love Romantic Comedies

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