Music choice

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

It's almost a zen koan: Exactly how long does an infinite playlist last? According to director Peter Sollett and screenwriter Lorene Scafaria, the answer is a scant 90 minutes.

Perhaps the filmmakers simply ran out of cool hipster places or sarcastic dialogue, but Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist feels less like an eternal journey and more like a better-than-average, but still lacking, teen comedy. Not that a short run-time is a bad thing, especially with characters that start out so wildly unlikable.

Bass player Nick (Michael Cera), a mopey version of Cera's typical persona, is still upset about his breakup with Tris (Alexis Dziena). Norah (Kat Dennings) is an overly sardonic pseudo-friend of Tris who has fallen in love with discarded mix CDs Nick made for Tris.

The two finally meet by chance when they travel into New York City in search of a mysterious concert by indie-rock supergroup Where's Fluffy. When they start a slew of wacky misadventures, the film shows a truly sweet side.

Expectedly, Playlist nods to Juno, with some banter forced to sound like last year's indie darling. Dennings, a promising young actress, isn't quite up to Ellen Page's level yet, but she's rescued by Ari Graynor as Norah's drunk friend Caroline. Graynor gets most of the best lines, and by the time she's found Jesus, the film has finally found its own distinct and entertaining footing.

"Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist"

Opens Friday