Caroline the Future Librarian

Caroline Davis | LIBR 265-10 | SJSU | Wrenn-Estes

Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist

Title: Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist
Studio: Sony Pictures
Date: October 2008
Rating: PG-13
Runtime: 89 minutes
UPC: 043396253032

Plot Summary: Nick, who is heartbroken after being dumped by his girlfriend, Tris, is convinced by his friends to go out to their concert in the city.  Norah, who goes to school with Tris, has never met him but admires Nick’s taste in music from the mix tapes he made that Tris discarded.  When they all end up in the same club, Norah grabs Nick and asks him to pretend to be her boyfriend, not realizing that he is Tris’s ex-boyfriend.  Nick’s friends are desperate for him to get over being dumped and encourage him to go out with Norah while they promise to take Norah’s drunk friend, Caroline, back home.  Nick and Norah head out on a search for their favorite band, Where’s Fluffy, which is rumored to be playing somewhere in the city.  Complications arise when Caroline goes missing, Tris decides she is still interested in Nick, and the secret concert proves difficult to find.

Critical Evaluation: I was initially reluctant to watch this film, put off by the pretentious sounding title (which it shares with the young adult novel that it is based on, by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan), and I was pleasantly surprised by the sweet love story that it tells.  While they are clearly high school students (we see Norah at her locker wearing her private school uniform), they live an enviable life without adults or curfews and are allowed the luxury of spending an entire night out in New York City, in pursuit of music and love.  Actor Michael Cera, who always seems to play the same slightly goofy and awkward character in all of his projects, portrays an endearing Nick, and we are rooting for him to end up with the right girl at the end of the night.  And although I definitely don’t condone underage drinking, the scenes with a drunken Caroline wandering around the city were laugh-out-loud hilarious.

Annotation: Norah wants to prove to her classmate Tris that she has a boyfriend, so she grabs Nick at a concert and kisses him, not realizing that he is Tris’s ex.  An all-night adventure through New York City ensues.

About the Director: Peter Sollett was born in Brooklyn, New York, the son of a newspaper photographer.  After studying film at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, he wrote the screenplay and directed the semi-autobiographical film Raising Victor Vargas about characters from the Italian-Jewish neighborhood where he grew up, originally seen in his short film Five Feet High and Rising.  Sollett currently is a faculty member of Columbia University School of the Arts.

Speaking about how he relates to the plot of Nick & Norah, Sollett says, “When I was 20, I met a girl in Manhattan — I was going to NYU at the time. I was living in Staten Island; she was living in Manhattan. I would commute in every night to spend the evening with her but didn’t have a place to stay. So I would sort of stay until 2, 3, 4, 5 and then go home and go to work the next day. So I just really identified with what these characters were experiencing.” (Source)

Genre: Realistic Fiction, Relationships

Curriculum Ties: N/A

Discussion Ideas:
1) Is their search for the band Where’s Fluffy symbolic of anything?  What are they really searching for?
2) Compare Nick’s feelings for Tris and Norah as the movie progresses.
3) Does New York City serve as a character in the film?  How would it be different if it was set in Chicago or London?
4) Is music a good indicator of whether people are compatible?

Interest Age: 14 and older

Challenge Issues: underage drinking, profanity, sexual content, reckless driving

Challenge Defense Ideas:

• Become familiar with the film and its content.

• Refer to the collection development policy of the library, if none, see here to develop one right away.

• Refer to reviews available for viewing on

• Try to get reviews of the film from teens who have viewed it.

Selection: I picked this movie for the collection because it was a recent film about high school kids.  Although I was initially reluctant to watch it, I had heard some positive reviews from friends and decided to try it.  I especially think it would be good for a library collection because it is based on a novel.


Official Movie Website

Nick & Norah at

Trailer for Nick & Norah:


May 7, 2010 - Posted by | Movies | ,

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