High Fidelity (2000) Film Review by Gareth Rhodes

High Fidelity (2000) Directed by Stephen Frears. With John Cusack, Jack Black, Iben Hjejle, Todd Louiso, Lisa Bonet and Catherine Zeta-Jones.


Based on the Nick Hornby book of the same name, and directed by Stephen Frears, High Fidelity tells the story of Rob Gordon (Cusack), a vinyl record shop owner who in the wake of a recent relationship breakdown, decides to retrace his steps with previous girlfriends in an attempt to discover where has been going wrong in life.

As a child of the ’70’s, the first thing that struck me, was just how much this film made me miss vinyl records and the experience of visiting such a shop to browse the seemingly endless array of weird and wonderful cover art. Frears opts to tell the story by having Cusack’s sad-sack character, Rob, address us (the audience) face on, as he details the woes of his failed romances. Cusack isn’t a natural comic talent, although he still manages to play a deadpan line of angst ridden self-loathing, which is offset by two scene stealing, starkly contrasting supporting turns by Jack Black and Todd Louiso – his two record store employee’s.

With some amusing observations on musical taste, High Fidelity maintains a light-hearted tone, amid a soundtrack celebrating a range of artists from Queen to Stiff Little Fingers while saving a very special moment for Bruce Springsteen. While it is perhaps, not quite as accessible or engaging as other Hornby adaptations such as, About A Boy, there’s still much to enjoy, particularly for those familiar with the many pop culture references. Worth a spin. 3.5/5

About garethrhodes

Full-time lover of all things creative.
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