Love is a mix … playlist

Nick (Michael Cera), Caroline (Ari Graynor) and Norah (Kat Dennings) star in Columbia Pictures and Mandate Pictures' comedy Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist.

Ashley Goetz

Nick (Michael Cera), Caroline (Ari Graynor) and Norah (Kat Dennings) star in Columbia Pictures and Mandate Pictures’ comedy Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist.

âÄúNick & NorahâÄôs Infinite PlaylistâÄù STARRING: Michael Cera, Kat Dennings RATED: PG-13 PLAYING AT: Area theaters In a crucial moment of âÄúNick & NorahâÄôs Infinite Playlist,âÄù Michael CeraâÄôs Nick takes Kat DenningsâÄô Norah to climactic (ahem) heights on the couch of her fatherâÄôs recording studio. Take a minute to digest the fact that this is sweet, innocent George Michael Bluth, the one-note character CeraâÄôs been playing for years, now transformed into a hot-blooded teenage sex fiend âĦ sort of. âÄúI donâÄôt like to subscribe to any labels,âÄù says Nick, though his character plays right into the âÄúindieâÄù stereotype: He wears American Apparel hoodies, his cell phone ringtone is a track by The Cure , and he drives a beat-up Yugo. We first meet Nick as he mopes in his teenage New Jersey bedroom, creating his umpteenth âÄúbreakup mixâÄù for his sexpot ex-girlfriend Tris and leaving her trailing, wounded voicemails. But he canâÄôt be glum for long, because his ultimate favorite band, the elusive WhereâÄôs Fluffy? is playing a show somewhere in New York City and his bandmates force him out of the house to hunt the band down. (Did we mention Nick is the âÄústraight manâÄù in an all-gay punk band called The Jerk-offs?) Meanwhile, at an all-girls private school, plaid-skirted Norah is blasting Devendra Banhart (who has a squeal-inducing five second cameo) in the hallway of her school and fishing NickâÄôs cast-off mix CDs out of the garbage, falling in love with someone sheâÄôs never met through 80 minutes of musical selections. Little does she know that their fates will soon cross at a concert, thanks to the needs of a drunk femme fatale. So, do Nick and Norah fall in love with a little help from Vampire Weekend ? Do you even need to ask? The best part about the oft-predictable âÄúNick & NorahâÄôs Infinite Playlist,âÄù besides its soundtrack, is Kat Dennings, who is the most believable female teenage lead since Molly Ringwald . She looks like a regular girl, dresses like a regular girl, talks like a regular girl, smiles with a gap in her teeth, and carries the movie on her creamy white shoulders. While Dennings and Cera are the heart and soul of the movie, the supporting âÄúall-teenageâÄù cast steals the movie from underneath their sneakered feet. NickâÄôs bandmates put the plot in motion with their meddling and play fairy godfathers to the totally awkward (surprise surprise!) Nick, while Ari GraynorâÄôs hot mess of a Caroline makes the drunk girl on the sidewalk in Dinkytown more endearing than irritating. Cameos from âÄúSNLâÄùâÄôs Seth Meyers and Andy Samberg and the aforementioned Banhart add to the wild goose chase feel of the movie; who are we going to encounter next? âÄúNick & NorahâÄôs Infinite PlaylistâÄù feels a little like George Michael Bluth goes to New York City, meets a girl and voila! TheyâÄôre in love. The problem with the movie is that its trailer gives away the entire plot, but any teen-comedy connessieur knows this isnâÄôt a surprise. ItâÄôll make its audience laugh once in a while (the trio of hunky queercore bandmates are particularly awesome) but the âÄúone crazy night in ManhattanâÄù has been done a thousand times and the movieâÄôs emphasis on hole-in-the-wall venues and sort-of obscure bands grates on the nerves like an exasperating super-hip friend. âÄúNick & NorahâÄôs Infinite PlaylistâÄù is not gonna rock your proverbial socks off, and maybe itâÄôs a bit âÄútoo-cool-for-schoolâÄù than a movie adapted from a YA novel has a right to be, but itâÄôs about as sweetly, awkwardly, harmlessly cute as Michael Cera.