Nick and Norah: A Musical Journey in NYC

Andrew Huff (’10)

nicknorah.jpgA single kiss between Nick and Norah sparks an all night adventure for elusive love, music and a drunken mess named Caroline. 

Strangers to each other, the music connoisseurs of the film’s title connect after a concert in the Big Apple by Nick’s band. The only connections between the two main characters are Nick’s ex-girlfriend and Norah’s schoolmate, Tris. 

Nick is heartbroken and simply hasn’t gotten over being dumped by his girlfriend, a.k.a his “homie forever,” as indicated by his many posters on his picture-laden bedroom. Michael Cera, in his laughable awkwardness, captures Nick’s heartbroken hope to get back together with Tris through volumes of mix-tapes. 

The title characters begin their city-wide, day and night journey after a single lip-lock in front of the bubbly, jealous Tris. 

Always a gentleman, Nick assists Norah in getting her pal, the alcohol-loving and rambunctious Caroline, home. However, Nick’s gay band-mates offer to take the “drunk mess” home, while he and Norah look for Fluffy, the elusive band performing a secret concert in New York City. As could be expected, all goes awry from there. 

Still hung up over Tris, Nick can’t seem to connect with Norah. Kat Dennings shows Norah’s willingness to throw caution to the wind, along with her insecurities from being a music mogul’s daughter. 

While being driven home by the band, an intoxicated Caroline starts to believe that she has been kidnapped and escapes, running off around the city. 

From the first frame, the film lights a humorous fuse, unique to each character, only increasing the laughs when they gather onscreen. Caroline’s escapades around New York enlighten the audience to both the pitfalls and comedy that stem from drinking in the city. 

Similarly, Ari Graynor creates both disgust and laughs during Caroline’s arrival at a bus terminal bathroom involving a phone, a turkey sandwich and gum. As the night goes on, Nick and Norah begin to separate, as each goes back to his or her ex. Despite the seductive attempts of Tris to reclaim her Nick, he thwarts those plans in favor of rekindling the evening spark he had with Norah. 

From the early evening to the early morning, the two discover that through getting lost they found each other. The love of music that began their attraction culminates into their awkward yet fitting realization of being soul mates of more than just music. 

The infinite playlist of Nick and Norah plays the tune of two teens with music in their hearts, and a common chord that fuels their love.

3 out of 4 stars