Watched two character pieces in the past two days. One was The Great Buck Howard and the other was Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist.
Buck Howard is the story of a law student (Colin Hanks) who doesn’t enjoy being a law student and decides to do something else. So he becomes the assistant to a magician (John Malkovich) who was once somebody and now lives in a state of delusion about his popularity. The film follows the two characters as they learn to work together. There is also a PR person (Emily Blount) who comes in as a love interest to Hanks’s character. After a particular illusion, Buck again gain a moment of notoriety, his fifteen minutes of fame, and then quietly fades again into obscurity, which, in the end, may be exactly the way he likes it.
This was an okay story, but the biggest problem is that it was about the wrong person. It was about the Colin Hanks character and the change he goes through, but I wanted to know more about Buck, who was certainly the far more interesting of the two. I wanted to know what made him tick. Why was he so difficult to get along with, why was he delusional? Did he have any idea of what was going on in the real world. This would have made a great story. As it was, the movie should have been The Okay Buck Howard.
Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist is the story of Nick (Michael Cera) and Norah (Kat Dennings), both of whom are seeing other people, but as we know, are actually intended for each other. They discover this over one long night as they spend it trying to track down a rave party with beloved local band Fluffy (or Where’s Fluffy, I never was quite sure) The story follows the usual predictable route, but is saved by the charms of both Cera and Dennings. There are also several secondary characters who are a lot of fun, including Nick’s gay bandmates and Norah’s best friend, who gets drunk and acts hysterically. Hats off to Ari Graynor for making the character a lot of fun.
I did have a few questions about the movie, such as exactly how high school age students could get into the clubs they did and also drink like they did. There were also a couple of coincidences that seemed a bit much. Overall, this was a fun, lightweight movie that won’t leave much of a lasting impression, but is enjoyable while you’re watching it.