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Conversations with Writer/Co-Writer John Cusack and Director Stephen Frears
High Fidelity A man discovers that there's more to love than a good mixed tape in this dramatic comedy about music and relationships. Rob (John Cusack), an obsessive record collector in his mid-thirties, is struggling to reconcile his adolescent enthusiasm for pop music with adult responsibilities and a more mature outlook. He runs a record shop with his friends Barry (Jack Black) and Dick (Todd Louiso), who are known to drive away customers whose taste in music doesn't match their exacting standards -- which may have something to do with why the shop is losing money. But Rob's biggest problem is his failing relationship with Laura (Iben Hjejle), a lawyer who needs more out of the relationship than Rob is capable of giving. To Rob's horror, Laura starts dating Ian (Tim Robbins), his upstairs neighbor, known throughout the building for his long and noisy sex sessions. Rob, on the other hand, finds himself catching the attention of singer/songwriter Marie DeSalle (Lisa Bonet), as he tries to deal with his breakup by tracking down his previous ex-girlfriends and taking a fresh look at what he's been doing wrong. Based on the acclaimed novel by Nick Hornby, High Fidelity also features Catherine Zeta-Jones, Lili Taylor, and Joelle Carter as three of Rob's ex-lovers, and Sara Gilbert as Dick's new girlfriend, who gets a crash course in U.K. punk bands that influenced Green Day. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi
One of Cusack's Best
Posted by: Treydle from: Saratoga Springs, NY on
What are your passions? Travel, fine food, family and friends? What if you decided to forsake everything else in your life to make a career out of those passions? Looking back, what would you think?
Rob Gordon (played by John Cusack) is a lifelong Chicago resident and owner of his own record store. The store, Championship Vinyl, attracts very few window shoppers and almost as few intentional customers. The staff consists of Rob, Barry (played by Jack Black), and Dick (played by Todd Louiso). Originally hired to work two days a week, Barry (Black) and Dick (Louiso) decided instead to show up every day. Their personalities are complete mirror images of each other, Barry being loud and opinionated (one of many reasons that Jack Black was perfect for the role) and Dick being soft-spoken and deferential. What they and Rob have in common with each other is an almost encyclopedic knowledge of music and a superior attitude as a result. When we join the story, Rob is being dumped by his live-in girlfriend, Laura. Laura (played by Danish actress Iben Hjejle) has chosen to leave in the evening and Rob, vehemently opposed to the idea, elects to shout out the window as Laura drives away. Rob then proceeds to list the five most devastating breakups in his romantic past, purposely excluding Laura from the list. Noticing that all those relationships ended at the urging of the other party, Rob decides that he is doomed to be rejected. He reaches out to his first girlfriend, a girl he kissed for two hours a day for three days before finding her kissing someone else on the fourth day. While he fails to find his middle school love, her sister informs him that the boy Rob saw her kissing on the first day is now her husband and that they live in Australia. In fact, the woman he speaks to is under the impression that her sister’s husband was actually her first boyfriend. Rob tries to disabuse her of this notion but the sister, believing him to be delusional, hangs up. Rob, now believing that his circumstances are the result of fate and not any sort of failure on his part, plans to reach out to his other former partners. Penny Hardwick (played by Joelle Carter) who would not allow the intimacy between them to progress past kissing, Charlie Nicholson (played by Catherine Zeta-Jones) who rejected him and began a relationship with a coworker, and Sarah Kendrew (played by Lily Taylor) who found the ideal relationship with each other, both having been rejected and fearing they would never find their true soul mate. Sarah found someone else while still with Rob and ended things with absolutely no warning.
This is one of those rare comedies that displays truly inspiring performances. Jack Black is, well Jack Black, but he is a valuable addition to the cast and the story. Cusack as Rob plays a character that we lose sympathy for on more than one occasion but ultimately find ourselves rooting for. And, as is typically the case with movies that feature multiple music aficionados as characters, the soundtrack is incredible. Thirteen years have passed since the release of this film and I enjoy it just as much if not more than I did when it was first released. THAT is the mark of true greatness.
1 out of 1 found this review helpful.
Posted by: CallawayMan from: Grand Forks, ND on
This was an alright movie. Not one that I will rush to see again, though.
0 out of 2 found this review helpful.
Has Its Moments
Posted by: kevman79 from: on
'High Fidelity' has its moments, and is one of John Cusack's better pictures, but it's nothing spectacular, will most likely only be enjoyed by a select audience. Widescreen.
0 out of 3 found this review helpful.
Great movie...interesting character study.
Posted by: Lilyroseviolet from: Madison wi on
The movie is better than you think it is going to be. Great moral subplot. Acting is great. John Cusak is always a winner.
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.
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