Heroes of the Zeroes is Nick Rogers’ daily, alphabetical look back at the 365 best films of 2000 to 2009.
How sad that the filmmaker best attuned to patterns of 21st-century teens has made only two films in the 21st century.
Given the acclaim of Peter Sollett’s Raising Victor Vargas in 2002, it seemed inevitable he’d be plucked to put fresh spins on studio work. Shockingly, this took him six years, although 2008’s Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist achieved at the same level of quality as Victor, albeit in slicker fashion — unassailably authentic in a way Diablo Cody could only imagine, sweetly romantic and thrillingly evocative of New York nightlife.
The film follows free-spirited Norah (Kat Dennings) and Nick (Michael Cera), a nebbish bassist dumped by his popular girlfriend, as they putter around New York. Seeking a secret show from a hot indie band, they find they’re musical kindred spirits and, possibly, perfect for each other.
First-time screenwriter Lorene Scafaria’s legitimately teenage dialogue means the quips are verbose and witty, but not vaguely hip. Nick and Norah are just culturally informed.
Scafaria and Sollett also enhance and elicit a winning wisdom. Leaving teen love behind isn’t a cause for celebration, or even a slight smile. It’s bittersweet, it’s empowering, it’s learning from a mistake. It’s growing up.
Playlist legitimately dramatized those unexpectedly unforgettable nights where the hours, and memories, run together. The movie found its outstanding soundtrack from mp3 blogs, but showcased its soul in the two-second spaces between songs. On those terms, the killer last cut of Playlist surely would leave you with a giddy glow.