Based on a young-adult novel by David Levithan and Rachel Cohn, Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist follows a handful of high-school seniors around for one ca-razay night in NYC.
Nick (Michael Cera) is a mixtape-happy indoor kid hung up on his repellent, unfaithful ex Tris (Kewpie-faced Alexis Dziena). Norah (Kat Dennings) doesn't know Nick but loves his mixes, which she scavenges as Tris trashes them. Nick is from Hoboken; Norah is from Englewood. Nick's heading to Berklee to study music next year; Norah's heading to Brown. Nick plays bass in a band, the Jerk Offs; Norah's dad is music-industry big-shot Ira Silverberg, owner of Electric Lady Studios.
There are some "entry-level alt" music jokes here: Tris attempts to seduce Nick à la Tawny Kitaen's car-hood writhing in the video for Whitesnake's "Here I Go Again," the Jerk Offs look suspiciously like the Teenagers, Norah's binging drunken friend is referred to as "a Winehouse," Devendra Banhart makes a cameo appearance to inform Norah that she'll know when she has her first orgasm (foreshadowing!). But most of the humor (aside from said Winehouse's drunken, pukey slapstick) comes from Cera basically reprising his every previous role ever, dependably blinking and mumbling and deadpanning his way through one awkward™ situation after another. Nick's totally cool with his bandmates being gay, for instance; he's not so cool that several jokes can't be mined from his anxiety about being mistaken for a 'mo himself.
As Nick & Norah and their finite ensemble quest around the big city looking for a secret show (inexplicably promoted via archaic terrestrial radio), bands will play, iconic NYC venues will be featured, romances will blossom, someone will actually shout "I LOVE New York" from a rooftop at dawn. It's like 200 Cigarettes, only with gum instead of smoking.