Sunday, February 8, 2009

Book vs. Movie: Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist

Long ago I cast away the notion that I would ever enjoy a movie based off of a book that I enjoyed. I even get that movies aren't supposed to be exact retellings of the books on which they are based (or at least I reluctantly came to this understanding when John Green said that his screenplay for Paper Towns would be - and HAD to be - "RADICALLY different from the book").

With this is mind, and expectations set appropriately, I excitedly opened the red NetFlix envelope that held Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist. I loved the book and was sure that the movie would only bring me back to those contented moments I experienced whilst snuggled up reading. And who could argue with the casting? Michael Cera AND Kat Dennings? Perfect.

Everything was going well, and I was accepting of the changes until suddenly, instead of being about, you know, Nick and Norah and their shared musical passions and whatnot, the movie was about a wild goose chase to find Norah's friend Caroline. That, and, evidently, chewing the same piece of gum all night long, no matter its travels. At least there was some good music - but even then, not as much as I expected.

I was disappointed to say the least. I felt betrayed, not just because the two were SO different, but also because critics had spoken so kindly of the movie. Book aside, it was, to quote my husband, who hadn't read the book "disjointed and a poorly written screenplay, lacking character could tell there was more to it, like things you might know from the book, but it didn't make sense in the movie." I feel like we watched an entirely different movie than the one the critics watched.


  1. boo you. I've read the book and seen the movie and I loved both. Sure the book was better but I loved the movie too!

  2. This husband of yours sounds wicked intelligent. And handsome, to boot.

  3. I feel like I must've missed something others saw in the movie, or maybe I watched a different version! Maybe if I gave it a second go-round, I'll like it more. This happened with Twilight, where the second time I saw the movie I liked it, but the first time, I thought it was a disaster.

  4. I haven't gotten a chance to read Nick and Nora yet, but I found the movie to be very disjointed as well.

  5. I just watched the movie the other night and except the ick factor of the gum, I thought it was pretty good.
    The fact that the producers obviously felt like they needed a quest rather than just letting it be the slice of life, one night event that it was in the book was a little disapointing but there were a lot of funny one liners that I didn't remember being in the book that I thought helped make up for that a little.

    Overall though, I agree with you that the book was definitely better and I'm glad I read it over a year ago, because I think the differences would have bothered me a lot more if everything had been fresh in my mind

  6. Both book and movie were good, but its all a relative matter. I didn't drop that book for a second during the reading, but found myself starting up games of solitaire and random conversations during the viewing. So say the very least, the film was a diluted rendition of something that may have been a cousin to the book.
    Who can argue with the casting? I can. Kat Dennings? Great. But Michael Caera? Lordy, just because he's the youngest slab of actor out there does -not- mean that he fit into this role. The only part he captured here was the wuss factor. And that was cringe-worthy. Where's the fire?