Petpluto and John discuss Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist

The following is a transcript of the discussion between WITWAR writers John and Petpluto, wherein they examine both the book and film versions of Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist:

[12:31] John: so, where should we begin?
[12:32] Petpluto: hmm… was there anything you disagreed with in my assessment of the movie?
[12:32] John: I’m not sure about “disagreed with”, but there were a few topics I thought you left un-addressed
[12:32] Petpluto: okay, let’s start with that
[12:34] John: What did you think of the soundtrack? Do you think that the movie has earned its reputation as this decade’s Empire Records?
[12:34] Petpluto: hmm… well, I have to say that I’m more of a fan of Nick and Norah than I am of Empire Records, but that may just be because the first time I saw empire records it was with everyone at school and it wasn’t a quiet time
[12:35] Petpluto: I do have to say that I loved the soundtrack – and the images that came with the music when it was kind of montagy
[12:36] Petpluto: like, I think it was when ‘after hours’ was playing and they were driving through the city with all of the lights streaming
[12:36] Petpluto: I confess in the interest of full disclosure that I’m kind of a soundtrack girl
[12:36] John: I agree that the songs worked perfectly with the slower, softer montage segments, and that the original composition “Nick and Norah’s Theme” was excellent, but everything else felt like weak sauce to me.
[12:37] Petpluto: I have a tendency to buy them for movies I enjoy because the music makes me relive those moments
[12:37] Petpluto: Hmm.. I loved the Jerk Offs actual song as well
[12:38] John: I don’t know, it felt really boring to me. and the sound seemed oddly distorted, as if it had been transferred from record to radio to tape to mp3
[12:39] John: and not the good kind of distorted, like Guitar Wolf
[12:40] Petpluto: Interesting; the only song I was really adverse to was the song that the movie opened up on, when Nick was leaving his rambling messages for Tris.
[12:40] Petpluto: At that moment, I was kind of worried about the state of music in the film.
[12:40] Petpluto: Because it was whiny and incredibly slow.
[12:40] John: yeah, that was one of its big-name artists, if I recall
[12:40] Petpluto: Chris Bell?
[12:40] Petpluto: I’ve never heard of him.
[12:41] John: well, they’re indie. If you’ve heard of them, they’re not cool anymore
[12:41] Petpluto: Ah, of course!
[12:42] John: There were plenty of times where I wanted to like the song that was playing because the scene was so good, but the incongrouity of the music would actually take me out of the movie
[12:42] John: for example, the music Norah’s listening to (and seriously enjoying) in her first scene would be passable at best any other time, but her enjoyment of it makes it seem better than it is
[12:43] Petpluto: Aw, I liked that song! But that could also just be because I was so enchanted by her headphones and her cute bopping and being in her “zone”.
[12:44] John: I kept flashing back to Idle Hands, when Devon Sawa is constantly listening to “Peppyrock” by BTK (in my opinion a much more fun song)
[12:45] Petpluto: Wow, that’s kind of unfortunate that you were taken out of the movie like that.
[12:45] Petpluto: I have to admit that I’ve never seen Idle Hands (I’m a bad Seth Green fan).
[12:45] John: well, Peppyrock would have made me way happier
[12:45] John: and Idle Hands is an hilarious movie
[12:45] John: possibly Jessica Alba’s best performance
[12:46] Petpluto: I don’t mean to demean Jessica Alba, but that wouldn’t be too difficult
[12:46] Petpluto: She wasn’t exactly wondrous in Fantastic Four, or Sin City
[12:47] John: yeah, pretty much anything post-Dark Angel is questionable
[12:47] Petpluto: Dark Angel also had some less than stellar moments!
[12:48] John: fine, whatever. I stand by my assertion that Jessica Alba turns out an enjoyable performance in Idle Hands
[12:48] Petpluto: getting back to the Jerk Offs song, you’re right, it kind of sounds like it was transferred in that seems slightly distorted
[12:49] Petpluto: I guess I didn’t notice it because [a friend] has dragged me to some less than great venues and some of the live bands I’ve heard have had that same sort of distortion in their sound. Of course, now having said that I really should admit that some of those bands were probably not very good.
[12:49] John: but in that watered-down way, as opposed to the usual punk rock way
[12:49] Petpluto: Oh, they definitely weren’t in a usual punk rock way
[12:50] John: it just lacked energy, as far as I’m concerned, which the book’s version (“f*ck the man”) did not
[12:50] Petpluto: i think what also helped me there was that i hadn’t been imagining what their band sounded like beforehand, you know? I’m not sure what they’re like in the book, but i had no notions of what this band was supposed to be.
[12:51] Petpluto: So that’s definitely a problem with how the movie differed from the book then.
[12:51] John: I guess so.
[12:52] John: which I guess factors into my feelings about the rest of the soundtrack as well
[12:52] John: since the book makes it seem like these kids like music that you can go crazy to, while all the movie tracks are just bob-your-head-and-kinda-shuffle sort of music
[12:54] Petpluto: that is true. The music in the movie is kind of mellow in that slow swaying way.
[12:54] Petpluto: Like when Nick demonstrates the blow dryer dance move
[12:54] John: exactly! I was like “how do you dance to this song?”
[12:55] Petpluto: I can definitely see that
[12:56] John: actually, that scene replaces a great one in the book, where Where’s Fluffy? is actually playing and they all get tossed around the mosh pit.
[12:56] John: the closest they come to that moment is the “dance-wich” in that scene of the movie
[12:56] Petpluto: hmm… and the dancewich moment was definitely kind of mild
[12:57] Petpluto: Speaking of, how did you feel about never hearing Where’s Fluffy?
[12:57] John: It kind of irked me because their whole purpose in the film was altered
[12:57] John: including the significance of their name
[12:57] Petpluto: What’s the significance of their name?
[12:59] John: well, in the book they describe it as being a social-political statement: The entire world is taking the bullet train to Hell, but all we care about is making sure our stupid, overfed and pampered cat is okay.
[13:00] Petpluto: Wow. That had definitely not even begun to be articulated in the movie.
[13:00] John: they’re an extremely satirical and political band in the book
[13:00] John: which mostly shows up in their lyrics
[13:00] John: in the movie, it’s all about how the band loves to play secret shows and leave clues to them
[13:01] John: the “clue” in the book is just something a fan wrote, and there was no DJ offering false clues
[13:02] John: it was supposed to be this fantastic coincidence that their favorite band was playing the club they happened to be at
[13:03] Petpluto: Ah.
[13:03] Petpluto: Well, that is definitely a departure!
[13:03] John: quite. And I felt like it hurt the movie because it turned the band into a McGuffin. We never got a sense of why everybody liked them so much
[13:05] Petpluto: That is true. At the same point in time, it seemed like a way of handling expectations (and possibly a cop out). Because if Fluffy had played and it hadn’t lived up to audiences’ views of a good band or a band all of these different people would be interested in, it could have caused a more negative reaction to the film than not even touching Fluffy’s actual sound with a 10-foot pole.
[13:05] John: by comparison, we did get to hear the band play “Sugar High” at the end of Empire Records, and we heard at least a sample of The Kinky Wizards in High Fidelity
[13:05] Petpluto: That is true.
[13:05] John: this was more like Loveburger in Can’t Hardly Wait
[13:06] Petpluto: Very true. The other thing I was kind of wondering about is why the band was in cahoots with… That Randy band.
[13:06] John: well, Are You Randy? is not reviled in the book. They’re just another band that played the same show as The F*ck Offs
[13:07] John: in fact, one of the boys (I think it was Thom, but I could be wrong) made a pass at the lead singer. They thought his name was Randy, but it turned out to be Ted
[13:08] John: Meanwhile, the character of Lothario in the movie has a slightly smaller part in the book, and his name is Hunter (from the band Hunter Does Hunter, who also played that show)
[13:09] Petpluto: I did love Lothario in the movie. Especially his sheepish admission that his name was lothario. It kind of explained the way he responded to Dev’s (through Nick’s) question.
[13:09] John: he doesn’t headbutt anybody, but he is friends with Norah, so things are a bit different
[13:09] Petpluto: Aw, he’s friends with Norah? That would have been awesome!
[13:09] John: I actually liked the changes they made to the Tal arc, come to think of it
[13:10] John: he was even more of a douche-bag in the book, but he didn’t really get his comeuppance. Though you do find out more details about his and Norah’s love life, and why she has a reputation for being frigid
[13:10] John: (hint: it’s because he’s a douche-bag)
[13:11] Petpluto: I kind of got that impression from the movie. He was very much an asshole, especially with the whole Jew-fire bit. I was kind of surprised that he would be so, “So, you’ll pass that onto your dad” right away. Like Norah wouldn’t be able to see through that!
[13:14] John: well, I thought it was supposed to be established that he’s been trying to get to her father through her for quite a while
[13:14] John: in the book, they do a good job of showing Norah’s mistaken belief that she can’t do any better relationship-wise
[13:15] Petpluto: Well, I thought it was implicit in that relationship, which is why I was surprised that it was so explicit, you know? Like Tal was too much of an ass (or too drunk) to recognize that just handing someone a cd to take to their father would be incredibly demeaning and probably not successful.
[13:16] John: well, Tal’s whole thing is that he doesn’t bother to understand Norah and just takes her for granted.
[13:16] John: also, the flashbacks to awkward sex scenes would have been funny enough to put in the movie. I don’t know why they didn’t add them
[13:16] Petpluto: I think they were trying to create a different type of teen comedy.
[13:17] Petpluto: Or at least trying to have a broader base than just the normal “sex and gross out” teen comedy.
[13:17] John: I suppose. It somehow makes Norah less capable of exacting her own revenge in my mind, though
[13:17] John: which she did in the flashbacks
[13:19] Petpluto: Hmm… I can see that in a way; I thought her whole handling of the check situation had the feeling of something that had been done in movies multiple times, and so some of the “YES!” factor had been lessened because it was so cliched.
[13:19] Petpluto: But at the same time, I did like the handling of the sexual aspects of the film.
[13:20] John: again, I don’t know. The ElectricLadyLand studios scene stood out as a lot more far-fetched than anything else in the movie
[13:21] John: I don’t care whose daughter she is, she can’t bring some random guy in to play Jimi Hendrix’s guitar at three in the morning without supervision
[13:22] Petpluto: Was it established that it was Jimi Hendrix’s guitar, or just a really expensive guitar (whose make I have forgotten)?
[13:23] John: no, it was Jimi’s guitar. That’s why he had to play it left-handed
[13:23] Petpluto: I did not make that connection.
[13:23] John: ElectricLadyLand is most famous for being Jimi’s recording studio
[13:23] Petpluto: Oh, I knew that. But it seemed, more than just Norah letting Nick play the guitar, to strain credulity to just have Jimi Hendrix’s guitar hanging out in the open.
[13:24] John: you could see all the guys in my row gasp in shock and fear when he picked it up.
[13:24] John: especially since Nick is a bassist
[13:24] Petpluto: Hmm.. the only thing people gasped at when I saw it was the toilet of puke.
[13:25] John: oh, everybody yelled and screamed at that in my theater
[13:26] John: but except for the part where the mic levels are bouncing around (which was very clever) everything about that scene seemed like it didn’t fit
[13:26] Petpluto: Like the fact that they were fully dressed? Because that part didn’t fit for me.
[13:26] John: It would have made a great epilogue piece to play during the credits, but I would have preferred a scene more like the one in the book
[13:27] John: actually, that scene replaced two sections of the book, which were the most romantic and most sexual scenes, respectively
[13:28] John: I was really sad to lose the midtown manhattan section. It was my favorite part of the book, and the scene in the movie leading up to where it would’ve been no longer made sense
[13:28] Petpluto: Hmm… I definitely think not having read the book helped my overall enjoyment of the movie then.
[13:29] John: do you remember the part right before they go to ElectricLadyLand, where they decide to go “somewhere no one will find us?”
[13:29] John: I’m pretty sure that in the book, they look at each other and say in unison “midtown.”
[13:30] Petpluto: Yeah
[13:30] John: since no self-respecting hip citygoer goes to midtown, and nobody’s there at all at that hour of the night
[13:31] Petpluto: That is true. I was kind of wondering about taking him to the recording studio, since at the very least Caroline would know about it, and it seemed as though even Tris would be aware of its existence since she knew who Norah’s father was.
[13:31] John: so they walk up and down Park Avenue (I think) and spend time getting to know each other better. It’s during this section that, in my opinion, they really fall in love.
[13:31] John: well, presumably there would be no way for them to get into the studio
[13:32] John: I’d say more about that chapter, but I can’t do it justice. It’s really sweet, though
[13:32] Petpluto: I did feel like the movie didn’t have many of those moments. Those straight up romantic moments.
[13:33] John: well, then they scamper off to the Times Square Marriott and sneak into an ice machine room, where they make out furiously
[13:33] John: it had been raining in midtown, so they’re pulling off each other’s soaking wet clothes
[13:33] John: but they each only get to being about half-naked
[13:34] John: and Norah’s about to round third base when an elderly couple walks in looking for ice
[13:34] Petpluto: Oopse.
[13:34] John: the moment is somehow awkward, hilarious, and kind of sweet at the same time
[13:34] John: the couple are very nice and decide to get their ice some other time
[13:35] John: but by that point, Nick and Norah have come to their senses and decide that they’re moving a bit too fast
[13:35] Petpluto: Good for them!
[13:35] John: hooray for positive role models!
[13:35] Petpluto: Exactly.
[13:36] John: which brings us to the end, where another favorite line of mine was removed because of other changes
[13:37] John: since Norah never drives Nick’s car (and therefore never crashes it) in the book, they head back to it and try to go home. Unfortunately, it looks like Jessie the Yugo (never named in the movie) has given up and broken Nick’s heart for the final time
[13:37] John: at which point, Norah leans over and says “I promise I will never break your heart.”
[13:37] John: then they hop the PATH train back to Hoboken
[13:37] John: and that’s pretty much the end
[13:38] Petpluto: I do wonder how I would feel about that, because I definitely loved the whole “Norah crashing the Yugo” exchange.
[13:38] Petpluto: It seemed like the Yugo was symbolic of Nick’s relationship with Tris and Norah’s with Caroline
[13:39] John: the book’s version is (like the book in general) less funny but more romantic, I feel
[13:39] John: but as for Tris, there’s lots of stuff that changed with her
[13:39] Petpluto: I thought that may have been Nick’s greatest moment because he didn’t flip a shit at Norah crashing his car. I totally would have.
[13:40] Petpluto: Yeah, Tris seemed incredibly different from your review.
[13:40] Petpluto: I kept waiting for her to become… …human. And it never happened.
[13:40] John: where to start with her? First of all, she really did like all the music that she only pretended to like in the movie
[13:41] John: and she used to love the CDs Nick would make for her (until she had just gotten too damn many of them)
[13:41] Petpluto: Well, that would have been a good thing to keep!
[13:41] Petpluto: Plus, I can see being irritated with continually getting mixes a month after a break up.
[13:42] Petpluto: I mean, she was a bitch in the movie about it and the cover art, but I can’t see many people who would have been thrilled to receive a volume 12.
[13:42] John: True.

she was the friend who helped Norah go to the drugstore and get a pregnancy test when she was terrified Tal had knocked her up
[13:42] John: providing just the right amount of caring support and caustic humor
[13:43] Petpluto: Much, much different from the movie Tris. And while that may have been hard to work in, the sentiment definitely could have been.
[13:44] John: She and Norah had an extended talk in the supermarket while they each pounded down a bag of cookies. During that talk, she explained that she didn’t want Nick back, but that Norah had better either go for him or not, and decide soon
[13:44] John: she recognized that Norah could be the one to help him get over her, and that they might even be a better couple
[13:45] John: because Norah is “a runner” and Nick “never runs”, commitment-wise
[13:45] Petpluto: Hmm…
[13:45] John: she did still cheat on Nick during their relationship, though, and Norah still didn’t tell him
[13:46] Petpluto: Yeah, I went to see the movie again with Steve on Wednesday, and he couldn’t understand why Norah wouldn’t have told Nick.
[13:46] John: there’s also an exchange between Tris and Norah in Veselka, where she helps Norah overcome her “frigidity”
[13:47] John: by showing her the tricks to making out that she learned from studying Tantra
[13:47] John: it’s actually a rather amusing scene in the book, because of Norah’s combination of shock and revulsion at kissing a girl mixed with her admiration of Tris’s talent and general appreciation of her sexuality
[13:48] John: in the end, Norah and Tris have reached an agreement and she wishes them well on the rest of their date
[13:48] Petpluto: I’m very glad they didn’t add that into the film. Given the nature of girl-on-girl action in films and in the general society, it would have felt exploitive in a way the film managed to avoid in all other aspects.
[13:49] John: I suppose. It was pretty tame in the book as far as explicit-ness is concerned, though.
[13:49] John: to Tris, it’s all business
[13:49] Petpluto: It was all business in Cruel Intentions as well, is all I’m saying.
[13:49] John: yeah, but Cruel Intentions was schlock. This was not
[13:50] John: my point is that the right director could have done it without it seeming like a typical teen movie girl-makeout scene
[13:50] John: just like you can have openly gay, sexually active teen characters without it turning into Will & Grace or Queer as Folk
[13:51] Petpluto: Oh, I’m sure it could. I’m not disagreeing with the movie being able to handle it, since I think they handled most everything else (girl characterization aside) incredibly well. I just think that considering society at large, no matter how the director was going to go about it, as soon as two girls’ lips touch in mainstream cinema, there is a certain amount of “Yeah” that comes out of it.
[13:52] Petpluto: I can’t wait for the day when that doesn’t happen, but I don’t think we’ve gotten to that point yet where two girls kissing is more about the girls and less about the titilating aspect of the act.
[13:52] John: I suppose, but I don’t think that’s a reason to cut it out of the film. UNLESS you’re completely abandoning the more well-rounded elements of Tris’s character
[13:53] John: because every hero needs a villain, right?
[13:53] Petpluto: Well, I think they could have had Tris being well rounded without that as well, you know? They were just incredibly lazy in that regard.
[13:53] Petpluto: Yeah, every hero needs a villain… unfortunately!
[13:54] John: and while the main conflict in the book was Norah vs. her own insecurities and hang-ups, in the movie it was Norah Vs. Tris and Nick Vs. Tal
[13:54] John: speaking of versus matches, in the book Norah never punches Nick in the throat
[13:55] Petpluto: That’s really too bad, because I liked that scene a lot. I loved his derisive “Sweetheart” being met with a quick hit to the throat. So much better than going for the balls too.
[13:55] John: interestingly enough, that scene was put in as a replacement for yet another makeout scene
[13:56] John: where Norah came on really strong because she was trying to distract Nick from seeing Tris at the club, and took him to the back room where her hormones got the better of her
[13:56] John: if by “better” you mean potentially fatal, then sure
[13:56] Petpluto: In regard to Norah versus her own insecurities or Tris, I think that the weird part about that was is that they seemed to be trying to make Tris the culmination of all of Norah’s insecurities, that Norah’s insecurities needed a human catalyst to come out – like when Dev was in the van telling Norah that she was so much better than Tris.
[13:57] Petpluto: I mean better as in, every girl in every movie when annoyed with a guy kicks him in the balls.
[13:57] John: I guess. Dev did that in the book, too, though
[13:57] John: not the crotch kick. The other thing
[13:57] Petpluto: It would have been weird if Dev kicked Nick in the crotch in the book.
[13:57] John: the only reason would have been to get him to stop thinking with it
[13:58] John: which he didn’t really do anyway
[13:59] Petpluto: Well, that’s what I mean about lazy writing of the girl characters. Instead of making Tris the way she is in the book (even with the exception of the make out scene), they decided to go the ‘classic(ally bad)’ way and make it all about an unsympathetic character making the main character feel badly about herself. The book seems so much better in terms of that, having these characters be characters and yet also allow them as characters to influence, in some cases negatively, the other characters as well.
[13:59] John: right
[14:01] John: in terms of the fight, though, I felt like the only reason she was willing to speak to him after that was because she needed to find Caroline. In the book, where Caroline got home safe and sound, she runs away from him because she’s embarrassed (after all, she just threw herself at him and he said “I can’t do this”)
[14:02] Petpluto: I do think that you’re right on the money there. Without Thom and Dev and Lothario losing Caroline, Norah would have hopped in a cab and Nick wouldn’t have seen her again.
[14:02] Petpluto: Because even when they were in the back of the van, Norah was less than pleased.
[14:03] John: in fact, she does hop in a cab in the book, but ultimately decides to go back and talk to Nick
[14:03] John: thanks in large part to the cab driver
[14:03] John: a character who is sadly absent from the film
[14:05] John: despite it all, though, they did manage to leave in some of my favorite moments from the book (albeit not in the same context)
[14:05] John: for example, when Nick calls his own phone to tell Norah that he realizes he was being an idiot
[14:06] Petpluto: that was perhaps my favorite part.
[14:06] John: and the “I wanna hold your hand” speech, even though it was placed really awkwardly
[14:06] Petpluto: “Nick’s phone… …Would you like to call back to leave a voicemail”?
[14:07] Petpluto: See, unlike you and MediasMaven I really liked that moment and didn’t find it awkward. And it is again probably partially because I didn’t have the better book moment in my head.
[14:07] Petpluto: It felt like Thom just got fed up with Nick and his whole “You don’t know what it’s like to be straight” thing and laid on him what was really important.
[14:07] John: the same goes for the “maybe we’re the pieces” moment, which worked way better when they were just strolling in Midtown (and with the conversation leading up to it)
[14:08] Petpluto: When the whole “maybe we’re pieces” thing happened, I couldn’t help but flash to Xander and Anya’s first time in BtVS.
[14:08] John: missed that one, but it was a bit Whedonesque
[14:09] Petpluto: it’s Anya telling Xander that since they have these interlocking parts, it would be ridiculous for them not to interlock.
[14:09] John: hehehe
[14:09] John: not exactly what they were going for
[14:09] John: but clever nonetheless
[14:09] Petpluto: And when Nick was going on about maybe they’re the pieces that need to be put together, I was like, “Interlocking parts, Nick!”
[14:10] John: it’s a bit less sexual in the book. Basically, Norah officially falls in love when Nick gives that answer
[14:11] Petpluto: I think you can kind of see that in the whole, “I’m coming in” part. I also liked how they showed Norah taking control, because that was my favorite part of her character
[14:12] John: you may find that there’s slightly less of that in the book, I’m not sure
[14:12] John: it would be interesting to view it through the feminism lens, as I imagine you will
[14:12] Petpluto: Well, I’ll probably find other things to like about her in the book. But that part of her was definitely very cool, like when she told Tris that there was no more room in the car.
[14:13] Petpluto: My feminism lens never comes off.
[14:14] John: that happens in the book too, at least I think so
[14:14] Petpluto: What I liked about Nick and Norah in the movie, and it seems like its like that in the book from what you describe, is how well they compliment each other.
[14:14] Petpluto: One’s strength nicely compliments the other’s weakness.
[14:14] John: even moreso in the book
[14:14] John: though in the book Nick is more confident and Norah is more reserved
[14:15] John: unfortunately, they thought Michael Cera couldn’t do confident, so they switched that aspect
[14:15] Petpluto: I don’t know if they’re wrong about Michael Cera.
[14:15] John: I think he’s being typecast. Scott Pilgrim will be an interesting make-or-break movie for him
[14:15] Petpluto: I like him and I liked his Nick, but he really does seem to only have that one character he can play.
[14:15] Petpluto: That is true.
[14:15] Petpluto: I kind of hope he can do it.
[14:16] John: I feel like he can, but directors up to this point have only wanted to use his persona from Arrested Development because it’s a sure thing
[14:17] Petpluto: That’s very probably true. And of course, I’ve only really seen him in Arrested Development and Juno before this, and he was a nonentity in Juno for reasons other than his acting.
[14:18] John: if I had the ability to cast anyone in the role of Nick, I would’ve picked a young Jason Segal (however old he was in SLC Punk)
[14:18] John: because the character seemed much more like his from Freaks and Geeks rather than Michael Cera’s from Superbad
[14:19] John: he played a more convincing musician, too
[14:19] Petpluto: I can definitely see that; whenever I think of Jason Segal’s character from Freaks and Geeks, I always see the scene when he serenades Lindsay in his basement room after an entire episode of her worrying about having sex.
[14:19] Petpluto: And that would have definitely worked.
[14:20] John: yeah, I think that’s probably what the writers had in mind
[14:20] John: still, Michael Cera did an admirable job
[14:20] John: but I never would have believed him saying “would you be my girlfriend for five minutes?” and having it work
[14:21] Petpluto: No, it was definitely better that they switched that up. I also have to say that I loved Norah’s reaction to Nick being Tris’ Nick, so I would have hated losing her absolute “Oh, shit!” reaction
[14:23] John: yeah. In the book it’s more of a “you poor bastard” reaction
[14:23] Petpluto: Which kind of comes into play when they run into Tal and she calls Nick “Tris’ latest victim” and Tal sympathizes.
[14:24] John: I’m pretty sure Tal didn’t know Tris in the book
[14:24] Petpluto: And that was the moment of the film that really felt off to me; it felt really weird that Norah would (a) describe Nick like that right in front of him, and (b) be so callous about it.
[14:24] John: but they make a point about the fact that Nick was dating Tris for six months and never met any of her friends
[14:25] John: which, as Chris Rock points out, means that he wasn’t really her boyfriend
[14:26] Petpluto: I would have to agree with that assessment.
[14:26] John: Norah infers that it’s because Tris is afraid she and Caroline will rat on her
[14:27] Petpluto: I can’t say that Tris would necessarily be wrong about that if Caroline met Nick in an inebriated condition. Not that either one of them would do so vindictively, but Caroline in the movie -from the word on the street moment about Norah’s ability to orgasm- seems to be loose with the info.
[14:28] John: she’s not quite as blabby in the book, but she’s just as drunk
[14:29] Petpluto: Yeah, if I were Tris I probably wouldn’t have wanted Nick to meet Caroline either.
[14:31] John: well, there’s a whole thing in the book about the dynamic between the three girls. Basically Tris is to them what Butters is to the south park gang
[14:32] Petpluto: Does Tris have any real friends?
[14:33] Petpluto: And also, was I the only person who wants a companion movie/piece about poor Gary?
[14:33] John: yeah, he really got shorted
[14:33] John: though I don’t think he’s mentioned by name at all in the book
[14:33] John: he’s just some guy Tris is with at the clubs
[14:33] John: all he does is put his hands on her a lot and make Nick fume with jealousy
[14:34] Petpluto: Well, that’s kind of what he had to do in the movie too; but then the poor guy had to pay for the cab that was following them and walk her back to Nick after Nick abandons her…
[14:35] Petpluto: I felt bad for him, and I kind of wanted to know what he thought about the whole night.
[14:35] John: who knows? maybe he had a really funny line that was cut for time. We’ll have to wait for the DVD to know for sure
[14:35] Petpluto: True.
[14:38] John: Well, I think we’ve just about covered all the major differences between the book and the movie, and the stuff I didn’t like about the movie as well.
[14:38] John: oh, except one more thing about the soundtrack
[14:39] John: the thing that really kills me about the soundtrack is the fact that the songs are so different from the book version of Nick and Norah’s musical tastes
[14:40] John: which were extremely eclectic and featured a lot of well-known and critically acclaimed artists
[14:41] John: everything from Patsy Cline to The Clash
[14:43] Petpluto: Yeah, I did notice that most of the music in the movie, aside from the Dusty Springfield moment, was very much both music I’d never heard before and newer music (or at least music I assumed to be newer music)
[14:43] Petpluto: They played at music appreciation when Norah brought Nick to the studio, and when they saw all the pictures on the walls, but overall it was very much like these kids were only really listening to the ‘new’ and ‘hip’.
[14:44] John: what about … who did Sexy Thang? Was it Hot Chocolate?
[14:44] John: notice that song isn’t on the soundtrack
[14:44] Petpluto: Yes.
[14:44] Petpluto: And neither is the Dusty Springfield song
[14:45] John: again, what I thought made these kids stand out in the book was that they weren’t completely into the hipster world. They had enough sense to like GOOD music, whether it was old or new, popular or indie
[14:45] Petpluto: At the same point in time, Sexy Thang was kind of a jarring moment, and seemed to highlight how sort of out of touch Tris was, you know? Maybe I read that scene wrong, but I got the impression that Tris was kind of out of ‘it’ with that.
[14:45] John: well, it was on one of Nick’s CDs, so he must have had at least some appreciation for the song
[14:46] Petpluto: Or at least used to have an appreciation for Tris’ dancing to it.
[14:47] John: right. But you’ll see more of what I mean if you read the book
[14:47] Petpluto: I love Dusty, but she also didn’t really seem to fit with the overall mood the movie was going for in terms of music. Like the music director had a firm vision of where he wanted to head and those two songs didn’t really mesh with the overall sound of the film he had in mind.
[14:47] Petpluto: I’m definitely going to read the book.
[14:47] Petpluto: I’m going to have to first find it though, as my library does not have it.
[14:49] Petpluto: So, productive chat?
[14:50] John: definitely!


One Response

  1. That was awesome, although I’m wondering at this point if I’m going to be so spoiled for the book. Thanks for sharing!

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