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High Fidelity (2000)

Comedy, Music Video & Concerts, and Musicals & Performing Arts movie directed by Stephen Frears

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Jack be nimble...

  • Jun 21, 2003
I intensely disliked Nick Hornby's book High Fidelity - in fact, I dislike pretty much everything that Hornsby stands for in contemporary British literature, and so I only ever came to see this courtesy of losing in a game of Scissor-Paper-Stone at the video store. It's one game I'm glad I lost.

This is a terrific, intelligent comedy, set on fire by the outstanding performances of the cast, but especially the comedy double act of Jack Black and Todd Louiso, John Cusack's geeky sidekicks at the record store.

Black, in particular, should take credit for converting a half-chance record-store geek role one of the most accutely observed and and perfectly executed comedy supporting roles in all of motion picture history. Black utterly steals the show, which is saying a lot, as Cusack himself completely nails the lead character, in whom all males of a certain generation will intantly, and horrifyingly recognise themselves.

High Fidelity almost loses impetus in the middle, but pulls itself around with a storming finale in which, appropriately enough, Jack Black features, in a scene stealing act.

The fact that Cusack et all were able to craft such a winning film out of such an irritating book earns this effort the big rack of five in my book.

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More High Fidelity (2000) reviews
review by . June 22, 2008
I thoroughly enjoyed this movie. John Cusack is his usual charming man-next-door with issues. Jack Black plays his standard stick-it-to-the-man rebel with a heart. Three men with extreme and unnecessary music knowledge spend their days and nights together bantering, arguing and not living their lives. The "non-musical" are excluded from their club, and they even have issues with each other.    Throw a break-up with a long-term girlfriend in the mix and watch as the world begins …
review by . April 15, 2000
posted in Movie Hype
Pros: Wonderful Cusaks     Cons: Smarmy and not believable     I love the Cusak's both John and his sister Joan. I try never to miss a film by either of them. This one however was a disappointment as I never could really connect with the characters. Maybe because I'm a woman, but it seemed to me that the plot was thin and the situations were simply not believable. I have had several male friends think that this film hits a dead one mark on how men view life. …
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Olly Buxton ()
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Transplanted from England to the not-so-mean streets of Chicago, the screen adaptation of Nick Hornby's cult-classic novelHigh Fidelityemerges unscathed from its Americanization, idiosyncrasies intact, thanks to John Cusack's inimitable charm and a nimble, nifty screenplay (cowritten by Cusack). Early-thirtysomething Rob Gordon (Cusack) is a slacker who owns a vintage record shop, a massive collection of LPs, and innumerable top-five lists in his head. At the opening of the film, Rob recounts directly to the audience his all-time top-five breakups--which doesn't include his recent falling out with his girlfriend Laura (Iben Hjejle), who has just moved out of their apartment. Thunderstruck and obsessed with Laura's desertion (but loath to admit it), Rob begins a quest to confront the women who instigated the aforementioned top-five breakups to find out just what he did wrong.

Low on plot and high on self-discovery, High Fidelity takes a good 30 minutes or so to find its groove (not unlike Cusack's Grosse Pointe Blank), but once it does, it settles into it comfortably and builds a surprisingly touching momentum. Rob is basically a grown-up version of Cusack's character in Say Anything (who was told "Don't be a guy--be a man!"), and if you like Cusack's brand of smart-alecky romanticism, you'll automatically be won over (if you can handle Cusack's almost-nonstop talking to the camera). Still, it's hard not to be moved by ...

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Director: Stephen Frears
Genre: Comedy
Release Date: 2000
MPAA Rating: R
DVD Release Date: September 8, 2000
Runtime: 113 minutes
Studio: Touchstone / Disney
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