High Fidelity
    In this romantic comedy, John Cusack plays Rob Gordon, owner and manager of the Championship Vinyl record shop, and an all around regular guy.  The story centers around Rob and his inability to maintain a stable relationship.  He's always going through break-ups, so many that he can organize his record collection, not alphabetically or chronologically, but autobiographically! 
  
    One of the popular things to do at Championship Vinyl is to come up with different music-related 'Top 5' lists.  Rob takes this a step further, and most of the film has him describing his 'Top 5' most memorable break-ups.  He becomes obsessed with why all his relationships seem doomed to failure, and goes on a quest to find the answer.
     
    Throughout the film, John Cusack speaks directly to the audience when discussing Rob's past relationships, problems, and philosophies.  This is a tricky thing to do successfully, but Cusack makes it work.  It's similar to what Matthew Broderick did in Ferris Bueller's Day Off
   
    Since the film is told almost exclusively from Rob's point of view, we are given a lot of insight into his character, but very little into any of the others.  Most of the other characters in the film come across as nothing more than refugees from a Kevin Smith film.  (Think Mallrats)  However, this ends up working for the story, since Cusack's character is a very self-centered guy.  It shows that he often couldn't care less about those around him.
   
    What it all comes down to is that Rob is kind of a jerk.  As stated earlier, he's an all around regular guy.  He's a likable jerk, though, and most guys can probably relate to the situations he gets himself into.  To the female readers out there, High Fidelity may confirm what you've always suspected, that when it comes to relationships, we guys are pretty damn clueless much of the time.
    
    High Fidelity is written well enough that, while most of its humor is based in reality, it's still very funny.  Also, even though the supporting characters are not as well defined as Cusack's, this doesn't detract from the film.  John Cusack gives a good performance, as do Jack Black and Lisa Bonet.
  
    So, if you have a couple of hours to spare for a good film, High Fidelity is well worth the commitment.

Directed By:   Stephen Frears
Starring:  John Cusack, Jack Black, Iben Hjejie,
Todd Louiso, Lisa Bonet, Tim Robbins
Rated:  R (Language / Brief Nudity)
Running Time:  114 Min.
A.J.'s Rating: 3 Gold Records
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Review published
2000
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