Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist Movie Poster Image

Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist



Teen romcom is believable but on the edgy side.
Popular with kids
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 2008
  • Running Time: 90 minutes

What parents need to know

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.


A guy punches another guy in the face.


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


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.

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.

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.

Families can talk 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

Theatrical release date:October 2, 2008
DVD/Streaming release date:February 3, 2009
Cast:Alexis Dziena, Kat Dennings, Michael Cera
Director:Peter Sollett
Studio:Columbia Tristar
Run time:90 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:mature thematic material including teen drinking, sexuality, language and crude behavior.

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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 was really bummed at the messages. I felt it really cheapened intimacy and was really suggestive for a high school target audience. Lots of drinking and partying - no parental involvement at all. Basically teenagers living adult lives with pretty promiscuous adult behavior.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
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 of Norah's friends is so drunk that they all have to take care of her. I watched it when I was 13 with friends from ages 11-19 and they all weren't negatively affected by it.
What other families should know
Great role models
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 15 years old Written byFromATeenGirlsEyes January 21, 2010

Fun and Funny but Not for all Teens

This movie is NOT for all teens, and definitely not for children. This movie is about teens being independent in New York, making their own choices, and living with the good or bad that comes with them. There is sex, underage drinking, and reckless behavior, but there is also a bright side. At the end of the movie, the two main characters have to make an important decision on their own. Stay with the people that only want to be around them because of benefits they may be able to receive from them, or go with the people that love them for who they really are. This movie shines light on even when everything is crazy around you, and everyone wants something from you, its still important to be yourself. Not the best movie, but not the worst either. There are some laughs, and definitely some fun moments, but also some moments when you wonder "what were they thinking". Again this movie isn't for all eyes, and though it's pretty much the same old story, it puts a fun spin on things for the older teen.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Great messages