The Juno comparisons are inevitable: Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist is another Michael Cera-starring teen flick about the personal and romantic turmoil of angsty, hoodie-clad teenagers—hip adolescents who wear the same clothes I do, but look better in them. Unlike Juno, though, there's no sense that Nick and Norah is trying to impress the grownups with how many big words it knows. Nick and Norah is just a sweet, surprisingly sharp little teen romp, more in the vein of the 1999 guilty pleasure Can't Hardly Wait than Ellen Page's recent twee-fest.
Nick (a somehow still-likeable Michael Cera) can't stop pining over his ex-girlfriend, obsessing about getting her back and making her mix CD after mix CD ("Road to Closure, Volume 12"). One night at a New York City bar, he's approached by Norah (Kat Dennings), who needs to borrow his face for just a second in order to prove to her bitchy friend that she really does have a boyfriend. (Even though she doesn't. Teenagers!) Said bitchy friend is of course Nick's eeeevil ex-girlfriend, who sees Nick kissing Norah and promptly decides she wants him back. Meanwhile, Norah's drunken friend Caroline (Ari Graynor) wanders off alone, and Nick and Norah spend the rest of the evening searching for both Caroline and an elusive rock band that's playing a secret show someplace in the city.
The drunken friend subplot is wholly unnecessary, but it's a small complaint in an otherwise thoroughly enjoyable movie. The dialogue is fantastic, funny without being cloying, and Nick and Norah's hesitant flirtation is perfectly rendered. It's worth noting, too, that the offbeat Kat Dennings is the most relatable female lead in a teen romance since Molly Ringwald. Unless you're the type of adult who finds yourself talking about John Hughes movies a LOT, though, Nick and Norah probably isn't for you: Ultimately it's a cute, funny teen movie. For teenagers.