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A bittersweet melodrama to the extreme
As a fan of actress Kim Ha Neul and the movie Il Mare (another time boggling K-drama), I really wanted to love this movie. Instead I have to settle for liking it and barely, unfortunately.
Korean cinema has built quite a reputation for itself in the melodrama genre. This movie is no exception. However, it does more than deliver the melodrama; it buries you in it. The classical soundtrack, while rather lovely, gets heavy fast. The leads, Kim and Yu Ji Tae, manage to be charming in their own ways, but charm is not enough to shoulder this film. I had difficulty attaching to any characters in this movie and couldn't help but find their emotional moments very contrived. The downpours of tears and the slow quiet moments got to be too much. And this is coming from a drama fan!
I think so much more could have been done with the concept of this movie. It had its moments, but nothing special enough to make it truly memorable.
Sweet and silly fun with an indie rock backdrop
I was pleasantly surprised by this movie. It's not as raunchy as its teen comedy predecessors, yet not as cloying as the usual chick flick. Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist manages to strike up a nice balance between the two with a dash of hipster thrown in there. However don't let the title fool you. It isn't all about the music!
The movie is very character-driven and, fortunately, the cast was strong enough to carry it. Michael Cera and Kat Dennings make one quirky and fun on screen pair. The supporting cast members also shine in their roles. Ari Graynor, for instance, plays one of the most ridiculously likable drunks I've ever seen. The performances delivered by this young cast are really what make this movie.
Overall I enjoyed what I saw and can't wait for the DVD release. You don't have to think too hard about this one. It's a quick glimpse into the NYC music scene, light on the drama, but romantic and funny where it needs to be.
Ah, and, for the record, you don't have to be into the hipster subculture to appreciate this movie. It's definitely an accessible story, whether you've heard of Vampire Weekend or not.