This Is Queercore
By Justin Ocean
Dick Ache, Balls Deep, Shit Sandwich�what would the name of your queercore band be? For members of the Jerk Offs, the fictional New Jersey high school band in the new film Nick & Norah�s Infinite Playlist (in theaters October 3), it�s naming, not mere being, that�s the most pressing issue in their world of sex, booze, and cock �n� roll. That and helping mend the broken heart of their straight bassist, Nick (Superbad�s Michael Cera), by forcing him into an all-night romp through downtown Manhattan with his musical soul mate, Norah (Kat Dennings).
�It�s like he�s our brother but also our kid,� explains Aaron Yoo (on left, above), who plays Nick�s band mate Thom, recalling his own teen years getting lost and crazy in New York City till 5 a.m. on school nights. �Amidst all the madness, taking care of Nicky is the one thing we get our proverbial shit sandwich together for.�
Avoiding the lowest-common-denominator comedy of typical teen rom-coms, director Peter Sollett deftly plies the quirk of Nick & Norah without Juno-ing up the dialogue or amping the camp. Hilarity doesn�t trump believability.
�I hope it proves that young people can handle a more mature, complex piece,� says costar Jonathan B. Wright (on right), who, before playing the Jerk Offs� newfound queer groupie, Lethario, starred as Hanschen, a gay character in Broadway smash Spring Awakening. �These people really exist.�
�The band�s van is not the bus from To Wong Foo,� quips David Levithan, the gay coauthor of the novel on which Nick & Norah is based. Happy that the gay themes are played straight -- an empowering notion to audiences in less-than-tolerant locales -- he adds, �If we can inspire everyone to migrate to New York, then I�ll consider my job done.�
Read more about Nick & Norah at Popnography.