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High Fidelity

High Fidelity

4.2 18
Director: Stephen Frears

Cast: John Cusack, Iben Hjejle, Jack Black


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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)


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.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Kryssa Schemmerling
Inspired casting and a clever narrative strategy make Stephen Frears's adaptation of Nick Hornby's wry cult novel an unexpected triumph that never loses the voice of the book's protagonist -- or the hilarious musical obsessions that make this one of the best music movies this side of Spinal Tap. With his ordinary-guy appeal, John Cusack is a natural as Hornby's underachieving hero, Rob -- a 30-something owner of a failing record store whose lawyer girlfriend has just left him when the story opens. Rob spends the rest of the movie on a funny and poignant quest to understand why his life -- particularly his love life -- has not turned out like a pop song. Cusack, who cowrote the film, changes the novel's London setting to his native Chicago, and the transition works surprisingly well. Frears preserves the charm of the book's first-person narrative by having Cusack talk directly to the camera; it's a device that could have been cloying, but the actor pulls it off with flying colors. Everyone in the cast is terrific, but Rob's dysfunctional record shop assistants -- Todd Louiso as the hopelessly geeky Dick and the unstoppable Jack Black as the aggressively obnoxious Barry -- are the real show stealers. The scenes where they sit around compiling endless "Top Ten" lists of everything from songs to dream jobs are comic perfection. As for the hip soundtrack that Cusack helped assemble -- well, it's everything even the most die-hard fans of the book could have hoped for.
All Movie Guide - Mark Deming
At face value, High Fidelity looks like a movie about the girl troubles of a 30-something record collector obsessing over his most recent breakup, but just below the surface is a witty but knowing story about a man slowly waking up to the fact that he's been emotionally stuck in adolescence and realizes it's time to start acting like an adult (which means accepting the knowledge that there's more to know about his partner than what records she likes). Nick Hornby's original novel was a clever, slyly intelligent book about people whose lives have been both shaped and reflected by popular culture, and director Stephen Frears and producer/co-screenwriter/leading man John Cusack have more than honored their source material. While one doesn't have to be a music buff to enjoy the movie, they've packed the film with enough knowing musical references to satisfy even the most jaded hipster; anyone who has spent much time in a used record store will feel right at home at Rob's shop, Championship Vinyl. And though Cusack's performance -- funny and charming but with enough bile to give him a few sharp edges -- dominates the film, Frears is more than generous with the supporting cast, especially Jack Black and Todd Louiso, who, as Barry and Dick, hilariously play id and superego to Rob's barely contained middle ground. Tim Robbins delivers a brief but superb turn as the annoyingly even-tempered Ian, and Iben Hjejle is engaging as Laura, who seems almost too sensible to be living with Rob (though we can certainly see why he wants her around). If High Fidelity sometimes seems to tell viewers more than they might want to know about the obsessions of its characters, Frears and Cusack have also given Rob just enough depth that he seems genuine and believable, and there's a lot to be learned from his struggles with romance and maturity -- even if you don't know (or care) how much a French pressing of Captain Beefheart's Safe As Milk fetches these days.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Touchstone / Disney
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Special Features

Closed Caption

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
John Cusack Rob Gordon
Iben Hjejle Laura
Jack Black Barry
Todd Louiso Dick
Lisa Bonet Marie DeSalle
Joan Cusack Liz
Sara Gilbert Anaugh
Joelle Carter Penny
Catherine Zeta-Jones Charlie
Chris Rehmann Vince
Tim Robbins Ian
Bruce Springsteen himself
Lili Taylor Sarah
Natasha Gregson Wagner Caroline
Ben Carr Justin
Drake Bell Actor

Technical Credits
Stephen Frears Director
Mick Audsley Editor
Tim Bevan Producer
David Chapman Production Designer
Liza Chasin Executive Producer
Laura Cunningham-Bauer Costumes/Costume Designer
John Cusack Producer,Screenwriter
Therese DePrez Production Designer
Steve Pink Screenwriter
Scott Rosenberg Screenwriter
Howard Shore Score Composer
Rudd Simmons Producer
Victoria Thomas Casting
Jeffrey Wetzel Asst. Director

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- High Fidelity
1. Opening Credits/ Music & Misery [1:29]
2. Top Five Breakups [4:42]
3. Championship Vinyl [4:18]
4. Charlie [3:39]
5. "I Just Called To Say I Love You" [3:25]
6. Number Four [5:15]
7. Marie [3:25]
8. Changes [1:55]
9. Snobs [2:04]
10. A Discovery [5:25]
11. Back Story [5:36]
12. The Boss' Advice [2:58]
13. Visiting the Past [4:22]
14. Customers [2:37]
15. A Ride Home [5:15]
16. Sleeping Around [6:19]
17. Misery [4:35]
18. A Return Call [2:05]
19. Encounters [2:21]
20. The Party [2:54]
21. Love [2:45]
22. Top Five [3:37]
23. Musical Visionaries [2:05]
24. Bad News [6:57]
25. Together Again [4:38]
26. Temptation [3:51]
27. Turning Point [4:10]
28. Barry Jive And The Uptown Five [3:36]
29. Laura's Tape/End Credits [7:01]

Customer Reviews

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High Fidelity 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 18 reviews.
RaphaelM More than 1 year ago
Ordered, paid and didn't received, not even a refund...dissapointed.
SleepDreamWrite More than 1 year ago
This was good to okay. Liked Sara Gilbert, Jack Black and Lili Taylor in the movie. Even Cusack was good in this. Good movie.
Guest More than 1 year ago
(Note: The one star here isn't fair to any other one star movie...this film isn't WORTH a star...trouble is, BN doesn't allow for a 'brick' the way Rolling Stone does.) This is one of the most miserable movies I¿ve ever had the misfortune to endure. It should be a great film, it has all the ingredients, but it isn¿t. Except for the fact that I forced myself to survive the whole thing, I¿d call it intolerable. Stay with me here, this is important¿the movie as a piece of film craft is well made, has a spiffy cast (including John Cusack and Jack Black), a great premise, and completely unrealized potential. ¿High Fidelity¿ could have been a lot of things; unfortunately it is none of them. Generally speaking, it isn¿t exactly funny (except when Black is on the screen). It¿s loaded with all kinds of ¿sensitive¿ internal dialogue¿you know, the stuff that makes men cringe but women generally love¿but that business doesn¿t work either, because the main character who delivers that dialogue (played by John Cusack) is a thoroughly awful human being who elicits no sympathy except the kind we feel for a rabid dog. There are elements of comedy, farce, romantic melodrama, Woody-Allen-style introspection, drama, little bits and pieces of everything, but the movie never seems to resolve itself as any one thing, so it never quite satisfies. Worse, the film carries on after its one possible decent conclusion. I¿d love to say that the main problem with the movie is just a lack of focus, but in the end, the film is just awful. ¿High Fidelity¿ is exactly the kind of movie its main actors generally portray: if it were a human, it would be a slacker.
Guest More than 1 year ago
You simply have to spend time with this movie. It is thought-provoking, funny, timely, and intelligent. The feature stars are an incredible cast (it's fun to see Joan and John Cusack, brother and sister in real life, in the film together as friends and enemies). The sound track is worth the price of admission alone. The final song by Jack Black 'Let's Get it On', done Karaoke-style, really surprises. What more can I say?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
... to fully appreciate this movie, one would have had to read the book. the novel carried over into a script more than successfully. it's really very rare that books translate over into film as well as this one did. for starters, it's pertinent to the story line in the hornby's novel that the setting takes place in the UK. when i read that the movie setting was in the US, in chicago, i thought it was going to throw off the air of the story, but i was actually able to relate to the story more. I was surprised! & by the way, yes, it is an emotional movie, but it is one of those rare romances that take place from the perspective of the male mind. it was rather refreshing. I would recommend reading the book, as well, if you plan on seeing this movie or if you have already seen it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This movie is great. As an adaptation of a novel, it hits the tone and conversation of the book dead-on. Reviewer Bob must not have read the book, or his opinion of the story development and dialogue would be better.
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