What up, Buttercups?
This is one of my favourite films of all time. One I watched every day for a solid week after a break up. It is just so good.
That being said, I’m gonna try to review it with at least some stab at being impartial. I apologise for failing in advance.
So. It’s a simple story set out over a single night. It follows Nick (Michael Cera) and Norah (Kat Dennings) and their friends as they try to find the band Where’s Fluffy who are doing a secret show somewhere in New York city.
The premise doesn’t sound like much but it is the foundation for the rest of the film that covers topics of body positivity, sexuality, one-sided unhealthy relationships, love, heartbreak and friendship.
The heart of this movie is the music. It holds everything together. Whether it’s Nick’s band arguing over their name, the mix CDs Nick makes to help him get over his ex or the songs woven throughout the night’s adventure.
Things get complicated when Nick’s ex Tris (Alexis Dziena) turns up and Norah’s on-and-off again semi-boyfriend/friend with benefits Tal (Jay Baruchel in the only role that has ever made me dislike him. Congrats on that Jay!) turn up.
At it’s core it is a movie about acceptance and moving on. From lost love and relationships that hold us back to sexuality and body positivity. Norah feels that because she isn’t the perfect size zero little model that Tris is she has no chance with a guy who doesn’t know who her father is.
Nick spends most of the film pining after Tris and the imagined perfect relationship that he thought they had – which is something we’ve all done from time to time when we’ve donned the rose-tinted glasses.
It’s only by the end of the film, the search through New York for Norah’s drunk friend Caroline and the many adventures that happen while trying to track down Where’s Fluffy that Nick realises Norah is the girl for him. And Norah realises she doesn’t have to settle for the life that’s been planned out for her or settle for the guys who only want her because of her who father is and the influence he can have over their careers.
Aside from the heart-warming romantic story it is a masterpiece of acceptance. Of the group of six characters we spend the majority of our time with, and root for, three of them are gay; including Nick’s bandmates. This isn’t a major plot point but is instead a brilliant example that diverse characters don’t have to be centre stage for them to matter to the film and that being gay is not the be all and end all of their characterisation.
While it ends with in the way many romantic comedies do with our young lovers getting together and realising that the journey of the night was a different one from the one they thought they were getting.
It’s a journey of discovery wrapped up in a light-hearted race through the quirky New York indie music scene.
Like I said at the start, this is my favourite film. I would listen to the soundtrack on repeat for the rest of my life without hesitation. There is nothing I don’t love about this film. From the first awkward moments of Nick leaving a pathetic voicemail, through the trails of the night and Norah’s recording room orgasm (which is equal parts honest, sexy and cringe worthy) through to the satisfying finale of Tris getting her comeuppance and The Real Tuesday Weld’s Last Words playing over the ending. Which is so satisfying!
It’s a film that I see more that the more I watch it. Including once where I noticed that a piece of gum makes a complete circle from the guy who originally had in an early scene to Caroline to Norah to Nick and then back to the gum’s originator in the finale.
If you haven’t seen this film I urge you to watch it. Then watch it again and possibly a third time just to track the gum from person to person.