Modern Girls and Nick And Norah’s Infinite Playlist :: Tuesday Double-Feature

1Modern Girls (1986)
Written by Laurie Craig & Anita Rosenberg
Directed by Jerry Kramer

And we never pay for parking. And we never carry cash, it’s bad luck.” ~ CeCe

And we never buy our own drinks.” ~ Margo

Words to live by.” ~ Clifford

And we never wait in line.” ~ Margo

“Girl’s Night Out”

For this week’s “Tuesday Double-Feature” I wanted to go with movies that tell a story about one night’s adventure. I also wanted to do a little city versus city match-up, in this case, Los Angeles versus New York City. A could double-feature should also tap into two different genres that pair up together, or in this case, two different eras, one in the eighties and one in the early aughts.

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First up is an all-time favorite of mine, 1986’s Modern Girls. This is a movie that hit a chord with my best friend and I back in the late 80’s, when we used to obsessively watch rented VHS copies of this movie. Though I did see it in the theaters when released, it wasn’t until it was available at Video Sky, our tiny local (walking distance) video store that we became obsessed with it. Back then, we were living the life these “Girls” were, going out to clubs in Hollywood, having adventures in the city in those all night hours, and even taking those pre-night-out naps before the real night began.

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I love movies set in Los Angeles, especially when captured in a way I know/have known Los Angeles.

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Looking back, I remember always relating the most to Margo, and I always had a thing for Clifford. Is there one of the girls, or guys, in this that you relate to the most?

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“The Cosmo Quiz”

Musically speaking, Modern Girls continues to be one of my favorite eighties’ movie soundtracks, especially for the Depeche Mode song, But Not Tonight and Icehouse’s No Promises. The soundtrack features quite a few obscure artists, too, from that mid-eighties era, such as Female Body Inspectors and Anthony and the Camp, as well as more known artists/bands, such as Toni Basil and Jesus And Mary Chain.

The original soundtrack is available to stream here at Spotify, you should give it a listen.

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“Final scene”

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But Not Tonight :: Depeche Mode

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Time for an intermission…

“Let’s all go to the lobby”

1Nick And Norah’s Infinite Playlist (2008)
Written by Lorene Scafaria (screenplay) and Rachel Cohn and David Levithan (book)
Directed by Peter Sollett

“We are the Jerk-Offs”

Film two is another adventure in one night, this one set in New York City, and based on a book that I encourage everyone to read. Though I’ve never been to New York (someday, I swear), the film always felt like a realistic portrayal of a not out in the city, or maybe I just want to believe it is since I love it so much. Take the city out, though, and it definitely rings true to those chaotic, no set plans, chance meetings, and live music nights that I have spent in my life. The characters, too, feel relatable to me, especially Norah, who I absolutely adore.

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Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist is a favorite film of mine for many reasons, some very personal, and some of them most likely obvious in that music itself plays such a major part in the story. It is the kind of “love story” that I love, with flawed characters who fall for each other in what feels like a believable way. Kat Dennings (one of my favorite actors) and Michael Cera have so much believable chemistry and connection, and have become two of my favorite movie characters.

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There are an infinite number of reasons why I love this movie the way I do, spanning the ways and means of the personal, the cinematic, the writing, the characters, the cast, and, of course, the music. Norah is among a small list of fictional characters that I relate to so deeply they often feel like watching reflections of pieces of me in Norah. The music is the thing, and the thing, as in the music, is wonderful. Songs that feel plucked out of playlists I listen to, weaving in and out of a story of friendship, self-awareness, letting go, letting someone in, finding your voice, your confidence, your musical match, and falling in love again.

“A five minute boyfriend”

The film captures perfectly nights lost to chasing after someone, or something, or that ever elusive perfect moment. I think most of us have had those kind of nights, and looking back I can honestly say they were magical.

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Beyond the story of Nick and Norah, the film’s namesakes, I love the representation of friendship, the complexities and the give and take of all the relationships are well-developed here. The only character I wish was more flushed out, and given a more well-rounded perspective, is that of Nick’s ex, Tris. In the book she is less of a stereotype, less “evil“, and more relatable. Besides that, though, I feel like they get everyone else nearly perfect. I especially love Nick’s friends, and the way the film elaborates on Caroline’s character, giving her an adventure all her own adjacent to Nick and Norah’s.

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I found a playlist via Spotify that includes the songs from the film. Give this soundtrack playlist a listen here.

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Electric Lady Studios

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2 thoughts on “Modern Girls and Nick And Norah’s Infinite Playlist :: Tuesday Double-Feature

  1. It’s been so long since I’ve seen Modern Girls, I don’t remember the story at all but I love Nick and Norah. It totally appeals to my music nerd side.

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