This Is Queercore

10.1.2008

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.

Send a letter to the editor about this article.

READER COMMENTS ()

AddThis