Norah: “There’s this part of Judaism that I like. Tikkun Olam. It said that the world is broken into pieces and everyone has to find them and put them back together.”
Nick: “Maybe we don’t have to find it. Maybe we are the pieces.”
“Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist” recently came out on DVD. For those who haven’t seen it, you might be surprised by the positive, open-minded young Jewish main character, Norah Silverberg (Kat Dennings).
Not only does she openly divulge her Jewish heritage, she also willingly expresses her enthusiasm for it. Small hints are given throughout the movie regarding Norah’s Jewish background, even as it is not explicitly revealed until a pivotal moment involving her love interest Nick (Michael Cera).
While the film mostly focuses on the chemistry (or awkwardness) between Nick and Norah—as well as their mutual music obsession—there are hints throughout the movie to Norah’s identification with Judaism. She attends a prestigious Catholic private school (only because her best friend goes there) but asserts her connection to the Jewish faith in other ways. She has a semi-relationship with Tal, one-third of a wannabe Israeli band, and she asserts that being Jewish is just as much a part of her, if not more so, than anything else. By sharing that with Nick, she shows that it is a deeply invested part of who she is.
It’s a good way for Hollywood to sneak in a good Jewish role model in a film directed to the youth.
Originally based on the eponymous novel by David Levithan and Rachel Cohn, the movie was released on DVD on Feb. 3 by Sony Pictures. It’s rated PG-13 for teen drinking, sexuality, language and crude behavior.