You probably haven’t been keeping track, but it’s taken Peter Sollett five years to secure financing for a follow-up to his terrific 2002 feature debut, Raising Victor Vargas. And If you haven’t seen Raising Victor Vargas, you’re missing out; it’s a beautifully rendered teenage romance that uses the Lower East Side of Manhattan as a, god forbid, vibrantly hopeful backdrop. The film may tend toward the idealized, but it does so with a mutedly practical outlook; Sollett loves his characters too much to mire them in the muck of premarital sex and unwanted pregnancy. Still, he at least acknowledges that his leads, Victor and Judy, are horny enough to fuck up an innocent thing. But they’re good, smart kids; sex may be the endgame, but they’re not about to consign themselves to a life on the dole just for a quick fix in the sack (we hope).
So it’s nice to see that Chris and Paul Weitz are pulling an Apatow and saving Sollett from indie purgatory with Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist. Never mind the smartypants, Hammett-referencing title; the premise, which features Michael Cera and Kat Dennings playing mismatched youngsters trying to track down a (not too) popular band’s secret gig, has a twenty-four-hour After Hours thing going for it. Sollett’s one-for-one when it comes to shooting NYC; why doubt him now?
Sony Pictures will distribute the film "worldwide". I just hope the Weitz boys protect him from his financiers should the deep pockets start stressing over the dailies. Sollett is a genuine talent, but confidence is fleeting; the studio could just as soon ruin him as save him.