High Fidelity 8/10
High Fidelity (R) 2000
Reviewer’s Tilt (7)
Special DVD Features worth a look-None
The screenwriters for Grosse Pointe Blank team up to transform Nick Hornby’s novel about a forlorn London record dealer into a film about a forlorn Chicago record dealer. Director Stephen Frears directs John Cusak as Rob Gordon, the owner of Championship Vinyl, one of the few remaining places in Chicago to pick up an LP. On the exterior, Rob is an aging slacker wondering why life and relationships have done him wrong. On the interior, Rob is a gun-shy teenage music, lover trying hard not to open up to his current girlfriend for fear of getting hurt again.
While this film could have easily digressed into a whiny or melodramatic wimpfest, Cusak and his fellow screenwriters infuse a decidedly male perspective into the genre. Rob’s top five likes are: his music, his store, his buddies, his woman and his top five lists (but not necessarily in that order). The film follows Rob’s month long catharsis from a petulant change-hating child, into an introspective relationship-nurturing adult. The film is funny, clever, entertaining and musically astute.
Although Iben Hjejle’ performance as Laura, Rob’s girlfriend, rings a little flat, Jack Black’ delivery as Rob’s friend and co-worker provides more than apt compensation. If you are wondering who Jack Black is and why he merited his own film (Shallow Hal), opposite Gwyneth Paltrow, High Fidelity provides you with all the answers. High Fidelity mixes pop culture, slacker love, teenage misogyny, pop music, wry comedy and male angst in the precise proportion. High Fidelity evolves as an entertaining character study of the goofy little boy trapped inside most American men.
Format: Color, Widescreen Anamorphic, Closed captioned.
Sound: (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
Extras: Deleted scenes; Frears and Cusak featurettes, trailer(s)