High Fidelity Cover Are a collector of specialist items? You know the type of thing. Comic books. Model cars. Records. String. Radio Controlled Monkeys. And other such wondrous items of this ilk. If not, shame on you. If so, then I am sure that you will have met some of the characters depicted in this film. One Directed by Steven Frears; and Staring: Jack Black, John Cusack, Iben Hjejle, and Tim Robbins. It was made in 2000, and lasts for 109 minutes.

High Fidelity: Book - Film - Music

Question One: What do these five girls all have in common? Alison, Sarah, Penny, Charlie, and Laura.

Answer: They have at one time or another been the love interest of one Rob Gordon (John Cusack), a self-confessed audiophile and owner of the record store, Championship Vinyl.

Question Two: What do these two 'urbane men' have in common? Dick (Todd Louiso), a rather timid music buff with a personality to match. Plus Barry (Jack Black), a bold and animated self-styled musician with a hairstyle to match.

Answer Two: They both work for Rob at Championship Vinyl.

Question Three: What does Rob do when his most recent love-interest, Laura (Iben Hjejle), leave him?

Answer Three: Stuff.

OK, to explain to you what I mean by this, let me just say that Rob does a lot of soul searching when Laura goes. You see, desperate for some closure as to why his past girl-pal's have pissed off and left him on his own, Rob visits each and every single one of them, one at a time, and asks them up front "Why did you leave me"?

Well, most of them anyway.

Oh! Plus in addition to this, Rob hangs out with Dick and Barry at his record-store, as well as has a one night stand with a blue-singer, Marie De Sale (Lisa Bonnet).


However, amidst this time of fun, frivolity, and facts, Rob comes to realize a number of things about himself, as well as those people surrounding him. Firstly, he is a bit of a fantasist, and views his own past with a tinge of rose-colored fondness. Secondly, Dick is a nice guy and Barry is a twat. And thirdly, that he truly does love Laura, and is just distraught when he hears that she is sleeping with the love machine in the apartment upstairs, Ian Ray (Tim Robbins).

Ouch! So what does Rob do about this then, huh? How can he win back Laura's love again? Pester her with phone calls? Speculate some idol rumor with mutual friend, Liz (Joan Cusack)? Or what about if he just conjures up a dream sequence where he and his pals beat the living sh*t out of Ian?

Yes - he does all of these things - not that it does him any good.

Well, I suppose that is why what next transpires is a rather uplifting journey all in all. As a death leads to romance - new-starts leads to new-beginnings - and skater-boys lead to a new musician that nobody saw coming.

A fresh dawn rises on the ashes of the old.

Now please allow me get one thing off of my chest before I start my review on 'High Fidelity'. To a certain degree I've lived the life of Rob Gordon, and I know what its like to work in a 'selective industry'. Granted, I understand that to some people in the 'outside world', that this way of life must seem rather strange in a nerdish sort of a way . Nevertheless, these types of 'emporiums' are a place that us ‘so called freaks’ can shine in the cold light of day - giving us the opportunity to spread a little bit of love into the world in our own personal milieu.


John in High Fidelity

OK, so now that is over and done with, lets have some facts: (1) Rob Gordon shares his name with an obscure seventies recording artist of the same name. (2) A good chunk on this movie was filmed outside of Lane Technical High School. (3) Iben Hjejle is Danish. (4) This is the eighth film in which John and Joan Cusack appear together. The others are 'Class', 'Sixteen Candles', and others I care not to mention. (5) John Cusack wanted Bob Dylan in the film instead of Bruce Springsteen. Moreover, there was also a number of other musical cameos too, such as, Jeff Parker, Alan S. Johnson, and Liam Hayes. (6) In the Hungarian version of this film, the guys discuss 'Reservoir Dogs' instead of 'Evil Dead 2' [click on the links for the reviews], because the latter film is not known in Hungry. (7) In 2006 this film was made into a Broadway musical starring Will Chase, Jenn Colella, and Rachel Stern - it only lasted for 17 performances. (8) This film was originally a book created by Nick Hornby, whom set it in a store in London - not Chicago. (9) Arctie Lange, Mike Newell, and Harold Ramis, were all hallmarked to star in this film. And (10) The closing track "I believe" was originally performed by Steve Wonder, but was later covered by Art Garfunkel and Peter Frampton -  all three are these artists were made fun out of in the movie.

The Cast of High Fidelity

Now what can I say about 'High Fidelity'? Huh? It's shit? Its silly? It makes no sense what so ever? No - no - and definitely not. WHAT A FILM! That is what I say about this flick, because it captures perfectly the camaraderie which comes from working in a ‘specialty shop’, whilst breaking the 'fourth wall' with John Cusack's character at the same time, allowing him to speak directly to the audience during his adventure.

Personally speaking, I feel that the nature and flavor of this film does weight rather heavily on Mr. Cusack’s shoulders, because he has to be able to juggle acting to the camera, and acting to his cohorts, without it seeming too staged.

Jack Black and John Cusak in High Fidelity

And does he live up to this task? HELL YES! Moreover, his fellow actors all do a good job as well, as Jack (over-acting) Black, Iben (under-acting) Hjejle, and Todd (translucent-acting) Louiso, aide John in presenting this story in a way that not only feels real, but also seems relevant to the overall plot-line it is trying to convey. Heck, even the cameos make for a much appreciated appearance too - especially Catherine (I'm very pretty) Zeta Jones and Tim (I'm a nutter) Robbins.

Here, check this clip out to see what I mean...

Now my only slight criticism about 'High Fidelity' is that the ending does seem too pat to be taken seriously. Well, it all ends on a very cheerful note you see, with everybody in it seemingly in a good place to be. Or is this just me being too skeptical? Maybe? But I find that this ‘real life film’ just doesn't feel that it has a ‘real life' end.

Still, well worth the watch, even if it’s only to view this lives of a selective part of society


HIGH FIDELITY HIGH FIDELITY Reviewed by David Andrews on April 09, 2012 Rating: 5
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