This is an interesting article about independent films and how they're becoming increasingly derivative. After seeing "Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist" last night, my partner and I were remarking on its similarity to "Juno". We really liked both movies, but it's impossible to ignore the similarities. Both feature animated opening credits that imitate doodles in a notebook, both star Michael Cera, both have indie music soundtracks and "quirky" teenage characters who fall in love. At first I was excited that Michael Cera's character in "Nick and Norah" plays in an all-gay (except for him) band, and that the gay male characters weren't stereotyped. I ultimately felt, however, that the gay characters were being used solely as another quirk, another "eccentricity," just another way to make a joke. Cera's character, Nick, keeps getting mistaken for gay - smirk, smirk; one of the gay characters hits someone after being taunted - wow, isn't he brave, just like a "normal" guy - but then - cue the stereotype - he cries because his hand hurts.
This article also describes the development of indie films, which is pretty interesting.
From Indie Chic to indie, Sheesh
And, just because I can, here's the trailer for "Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist":