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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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 ...