Reviews for High Fidelity ( ) 720p

IMDB: 7.6 / 10

A miserable and irritating film

This is an awful film that doesn't have any likable characters. It was misleadingly marketed as a fun, happy romcom. It's actually a really bad drama.

John Cusack plays an annoying, miserable record shop owner who incessantly goes on and on about his personal top five of this, that and the other.

Jack Black (as usual) plays an insufferable, juvenile, overbearing, arrogant, hyperactive nuisance.

What came first - the music or the misery?

High Fidelity is directed by Stephen Frears and adapted to screenplay by D.V. DeVincentis, Steve Pink, John Cusack and Scott Rosenberg from the Nick Hornby novel. It stars Cusack, Jack Black, Iben Hjejle and Todd Louiso. Music is by Howard Shore and Cinematography by Seamus McGarvey.

Record store owner and compulsive list-compiler Rob Gordon (Cusack), embark's upon a what does it all mean mission when his latest girlfriend leaves him.

Cusack and Pink take Hornby's hugely popular novel and redirect it to Chicago, with joyous results. High Fidelity is a tale of human love and a love of music, a sort of battle of the sexes with a soundtrack of masculine life. Rob's voyage of self discovery is highly amusing, the trials and tribulations of relationships bringing out a number of scenes and scenarios that ring true, not just tickling the funny bones, but also tugging the heart and cradling the brain.

Away from the doomed love angles it's the music threads that literally strike the chords. Rob and his two co-workers Barry (Black) & Dick (Louiso) worship music and continually indulge in making top 5 lists whilst bickering with sarcastic glee in the process. All three actors are superb, a trio of odd balls bouncing off of one and other with a zest that's infectious, though it's decidedly Cusack's show. A perpetual miserablist who addresses us the audience at frequent intervals, Rob in Cusack's hands garners sympathy, pity and laughs in equal measure.

In the support slots is a ream of talent well in on the joke, beauties like Catherine Zeta-Jones (dropping F-Bombs like they are going out of fashion), Lisa Bonet & Joelle Carter are complimented by the comic skills of Joan Cusack, while Hjejle turns in a wily and womanly performance as the girlfriend who kicks starts Rob's search for meaning. Elsewhere the sight of Tim Robbins as a new age hippy type - with a black belt in martial arts - is so much fun it reminds of what a good comic actor he can be as well.

As with Grosse Point Blank, another Cusack/Pink production, sound tracking is everything, and naturally given the setting of the story there is an abundance of classic tunes to delight in. All told it's a special movie, for all sexes and for all music lovers, but especially for anyone who has had relationship problems. Now what did come first, the music or the misery? Priceless. 9/10

Brilliant movie

Not even sure where to begin but I will say this is a brilliant movie. I could watch it every single day and never get tired of it. Cusack has an amazing chemistry that draws you in to him and just makes you want him (assuming you are female, lol). It is also Jack Black at his brilliant best. So many memorable scenes. Also so nice to see Natalie Wood's daughter Natasha in a bit part which she played beautifully. Not really made before the days of cell phones per se, but no cell phones or anything electronic to distract people in this movie which gives a feeling of simple comfort to it. It does not really even feel dated even though it was made 15 years ago. This really is one of the "all-time greats ", lol, if you see the movie, you will know what I mean.. They really don't make movies with as much content, story humor and guts as this one has! If you are really into music and what it can do for people , you will also appreciate this movie.

John Cusack's Defining Role, Post-1980s

Rob Gordon (John Cusack), a record store owner and compulsive list maker, recounts his top five breakups, including the one in progress.

Top five things that are great about this movie: Five, Tim Robbins' hair. Four, Jack Black. Three, Stiff Little Fingers. Two, John Cusack giving the best performance of his career, or at least since "Say Anything". One, the conversation about "Evil Dead II" and the word "yet". Honorable mention, Lisa Bonet not being completely annoying and almost actually likable.

Roger Ebert gave the film four out of four stars and wrote, "Watching High Fidelity, I had the feeling I could walk out of the theater and meet the same people on the street — and want to, which is an even higher compliment".

A trip inside the crowded contents of the male psyche

Rob Gordon (John Cusack) is a man stuck in a rut and that rut is one that occupies childlike sensibilities, an inability to adapt to change, and a lack of understanding, or effort to understand, the women in his life. Rob has yet to really come of age and has been stagnant in his ability to mature and grow up, sticking to what he knows in the most primal sense. He runs a record store with his friends Dick (Todd Louiso) and Barry (Jack Black), spending most of his days engaging in meaningless conversations about which musicians are better than other musicians, what records have a long-lasting impact over others, and so on, almost as if their musical elitism predated the kind you see in the same place where this film is set, Chicago.

Rob has just gone through a breakup with Laura (Iben Hjejle), a woman he clearly cared about but had no idea how to act on his feelings in a way that pleased her in a significant manner. She was troubled by his childishness and he was unwilling to change for the better. Depressed and distraught, finally questioning what role he had to play in his breakups, Rob cycles through five of his old romantic partners to see if there's some sort of consistent screw-up he is faced with in all his relationships.

High Fidelity works instantly because of Cusack's character and character acting abilities. He embodies Rob Gordon, who we grow to find likable at times, mostly thanks to his quick-witted mannerisms and ability to keep a conversation moving, and incorrigible at others, for his inability to realize that he is his own worst enemy. Cusack's "cool guy" approach to the material, complete with first-person narration and frequently employed witticisms, make him nonetheless an interesting protagonist because you can fault him and appreciate him for many reasons, but the main one is that he's human. Louiso and Black work well as the side characters here, in addition, particularly Luiso, who is given some of the funniest lines of the picture. Jack Black is your typical Jack Black character here, but ostensibly boasting more controlled chaos than outright chaos here (either that or his craziness gels well enough with Cusack's coolness that typical results aren't as blatant).

Director Stephen Frears and the quartet of writers at hand here (Cusack himself, D.V. DeVincentis, Steve Pink, and Scott Rosenberg) are commendable because they understand the way males think. If a woman goes through a breakup, as least from what I've seen from my female friends and based off knowledge from films I have seen, she often reevaluates herself, checking herself with her friends to see what could've possibly gone wrong and if she had anything to do with the relationship's demise. Men, from what I've seen from my male friends and other films I have seen, are almost too prideful for that sort of thing, rarely showing too much emotion and holding it in for a rainy day. We move on to hooking up, letting our feelings out to only our closest friends, and simply try to find another woman who will provide us not with the same kind of love but the same feelings as the previous gal did.

Of course I'm speaking in rampant generalities here; the heart of my argument is that so is Frears and his writers. They're evaluating the character based on terms typical of the male psyche, and are effective in at least portraying a pragmatic situation for a character who has been through a plethora of rough breakups. High Fidelity also features the soundtrack from heaven to compliment our leads characters' musical elitism that works to bring life to a screenplay that could've either showed its worn qualities or lessened in impact over time. However, thanks to Cusack as the center of the film, complimented by two other effective actors, the film stands strong and offers us a glimpse into the mind of a male during one of the most vulnerable times in his life.

Starring: John Cusack, Jack Black, Todd Louiso, and Iben Hejejle. Directed by: Stephen Frears.

Excellent romantic-comedy about a musical obsessive

I remember reading Nick Hornby's novel 'High Fidelity' and laughing out loud an awful, awful lot. The characters were so well drawn and the comedy was right on the mark. I suppose I saw parts of myself in there I would have to admit. Although admittedly, while I did organise my CD collection alphabetically, I was never tempted to sort it biographically! The story in a nutshell centres on a mid-thirties music geek who slowly accepts his adult responsibilities, while never actually discarding his obsessions. It's obviously great fun for those with certain musical tastes, seeing as it features references to important alternative acts such as The Beta Band and Stereolab, amongst many others.

But what elevates the film higher is, like the book, it has three dimensional characters that are believable and it has a strong romantic-comedy aspect. Like the very best rom-coms its observations about relationships are intelligent and the characters are ones we root for. John Cusack as the main character Rob is in fine form in a role where he is a sympathetic lead, a selfish idiot and an amusing music geek. It's a multi-layered performance. Iben Hjejle as his long suffering girlfriend Laura impresses a lot too. We completely understand why Rob wants her around but it's not hard to see why Laura has serious issues with their relationship. Hjejle, like Cusack, is given quite a lot to work with and her performance also has quite a bit of emotional range. The rest of the cast is very good too with Jack Black playing the ultimate obnoxious music snob, Tim Robbins is equally amusing as the even-tempered neighbour Ian, who briefly has a relationship with Laura much to Rob's horror, while Lisa Bonet and Catherine Zeta-Jones are also on hand as other women who come into Rob's orbit.

Director Stephen Frears and producer Cusack have to be given a lot of credit for adapting Hornby's book to the screen so seamlessly. The novel is set in the UK but the movie is set in America. Some of the references have had to change accordingly but none of the amendments make any difference to the overall impact; in fact it makes it an interesting contrast if anything. My advice is simple - watch the film and read the book. You won't regret either.

Vinyl Junky and Romantic Flunky

This is a Specialty Movie about a Speciality Store with Especially Eccentric Patrons, Owners and Employees. Music Junkies that are mostly Flunkies is Societal Terms that can Quote Liner Notes and Record Label Minutia but have a Difficult Time Relating to Girls. it is a Nerdish-Geekish Cliché but when done with a Labor of Love Intensity like what goes on here, it can be quite Insightful and Entertaining.

Your Enjoyment of this Movie will Depend on a Toleration for Fourth Wall Shatterings with Direct at the Camera Monologues and Your Knowledge and Attachment to Pop Music and its Place and Importance in Shaping Our Culture. There is a lot of Banter about Musical Taste and Snobbish Cynicism about those who "don't get it".

But there is also Another Side to this Vinyl Obsessed Opus and that is the Romantic Part that Segues Back and Forth with the Hipster Trivia and it is the Jerky Relationships and Nervous Uncomfortableness that John Cusack Suffers Anytime He is out of the Record Store and out of His Element, and that is Reflected by the Elements Wrath of Rain that He Encounters.

It is an Offbeat and Fresh Movie with Limited Appeal but has found a Cult Audience (no surprise) and may be just Sweet Enough for a Date Movie if the the Girl in Attendance has an Inkling of Cultural Awareness, Pop Music History, and a Tolerance for that Most Male of Things, an Immature, Irresponsible, Obsessive Attachment and Unhealthy Devotion to Hobbies.
As for Mr. Cusack, there's nothing potential about his stardom any more. He's the self-doubting, self-flagellating, self-ironic soul of "High Fidelity," and he's great.
Cusack has ineffable charm, but he keeps it tuned at the lowest possible frequency.
When happiness does arrive in this movie, it has the air not of something that you reach, like your top speed, but of something that you give in to, like baldness or old age.
A film pragmatic enough to concede that almost every relationship is doomed, but romantic enough to realize that it's worth it to carry on in spite of that fact, High Fidelity is one of the smartest and funniest romantic comedies of the past few years.
High Fidelity, with its knowing take on men, messed-up romance and music, is like one long, hook-filled pop song for the eyes.

Now this is what I would call a musical

It was about time someone put together a film with a genuine appreciation for the love/music connection that didn't end up being something along the lines of "Singles". For music lovers who tend to put a soundtrack to everything they experience, this film is a blessing. I am one of those people, so I understand that if you're not, you'll get less from the movie. All I'm trying to say is that this is one of those films that demand you to root for the characters and the events if you want to enjoy it. The deeper the affection you feel for them, the more you'll enjoy the movie.

Personally, I think John Cusack's character is one of the most engaging in the comedy genre of the last decade. This is the kind of character I like: simple and complex at the same time, just like in real life. Somebody likable but annoying at times. Again, I feel a deep personal connection with him, and I understand him every time, even when he acts stupid.

But he is not alone. The rest of the cast is terrific.

Anyway, don't forget this is a comedy. You will laugh your ass off with some situations and dialogue. Hilarity comes from many different sources: you've got black humor, silly humor, complex (people would say "intelligent", but I despise the term) humor... Special mention goes to Tim Robbins paying a visit to the record store. Genius.

On a very personal level, I think there's a magnificent scene that sums up the heart and the brains of this movie. John Cusack talks to the camera (something that happens often) instructing the audience on how to make a perfect music compilation for your loved one. If you like that concept, the movie will grab you and won't let you go. If that idea doesn't sound seductive to you, you might just have a good time. If you are a rock music devotee, this flick is heaven.


One of the best of all comedies but also a very poignant study of male life

Having read the very good Nick Hornby novel of the same name I looked forward to "High Fidelity" quite a bit, but I never expected it to be as good as it is. This is easily one of the best comedies of all time for its laughs alone - but what separates it from other comedies (particularly new-age ones) is that it's a very poignant multi-layered tale that focuses, primarily, on males - and why we are as we are. Love, life, relationships, music, movies, hobbies, jobs, ticks, ups, downs - everything is here.

It's to John Cusack's credit that he took a "classic" contemporary novel set in London and transposed it to Chicago - and it works just as well (if not better) than the British version. It shows what a universal story this actually is, if so many people from all over the world can appreciate it, no matter where it is set. What we lose here are the abbreviations such as "mate," "cos" and other British expressions - but essentially the story is exactly the same, as is the character of Rob Gordon.

Cusack proves his worth here and there isn't a single bad performance in this film, except perhaps for the love interest who tries to sport an American accent and it's quite uneven at times.

Jack Black is fantastically funny and reveals once again why he's leagues ahead of other obese comedians like Chris Farley who merely relied on OTT acts and weight for laughs - Black, like John Candy, actually acts and so far in his career has turned out some really good films which is more than can be said for many of his competitors.

The script has some very funny one-liners and movie/music in-jokes (I love the "Evil Dead" bit - "Because it's so funny, and violent, it's got a kick-a$$ soundtrack...and it's so violent!").

But at the end of the day what really haunted me (so to speak) about this movie long after I had seen it was the fact that it DOES stay with you ages after the credits have stopped rolling. It's poignant and really spot-on in many regards - add that to a film full of flawless performances and great direction and clever ideas and one-liners and jokes, and you've got a top-notch comedic masterpiece that places "High Fidelity" in the top ranks of American (and British!) comedy - "with," as the DVD back cover says, "a bullet." Highly recommended. 5/5

Top 5 Movies About Love and Music

One of my favorite movies, based on one of my favorite books. "High Fidelity" is perfect if you already had a broken heart, and if you tried to heal it with some pop songs.

John Cusack is not acting - he REALLY IS Rob Fleming (Rob Gordon in the movie). If there are doubts about it, I just say that he made the soundtrack compilation and collaborated with the screenplay.

The supporting cast is also perfect. Jack Black and Todd Louiso couldn't be better. Tim Robbins, as the world-music-fan, is a nice surprise, and Joan Cusack is always funny.

It looks like everyone had a lot of fun making this movie, and the result is a nice and funny and full of emotions motion picture, to see again and again and again to remember how music and love can help each other.

Honesty Never Felt So Good

Who says familiarity breeds contempt? In this film of heart break, betrayal, true friendship, and love, Cusak adapts Hornby's book perfectly, melding self doubt, fear of death, and a search for truth with modern cinema and pop music. Rob, Dick, and Barry are all struggling men in their late twenties (thirties in the book) trying to find a way to identify themselves, and live at peace. Rob has the most conflict as he flounders through one relationship to another, never getting comfortable, and always finding a way to mess it up. It's a brilliant tale of coming to terms with reality, and having a bit of fun along the way. The casting was pheonimal, scenes perfectly picked, and music parallelling that of the mood set in the book. It's just a shame so much had to be cut. I would recommend this movie to anyone with a calloused ear and a desire to finally relate with a character.

There is nothing in this movie that is worth seeing it for.

This movie starts off really slow it seems like a failure right from the start and you hope its going to take off any minute which never happens. John Cusack keeps talking to the camera while everybody else in the screen pretends as if the camera is not present. this takes away the originality a movie should have. one more point worth noting is why is he analysing all the top 5 relationships he has had and contacting all his old girl friends when it is anybodys guess they would have moved on and the stupidest thing is he is still in love or he pretends to be in love with the girl he broke up with. A very boring and crap movie it is better to watch TV commercials than to watch this movie. Signing off ~ Max

For music elitists and people who think they're funny

Never before has a movie captured what it's like to be a musical elitist - you know the type, the person who has always heard of bands ages before everyone else, and who immediately trashes them once everyone else starts listening to them. There is plenty to mock about this sort of individual, and this movies does it very well.

The real joy of the film, though, is that the film also shows you that elitists are people, too. John Cusack is terrific as Rob, the music shop owner with personal and personnel problems. He is utterly believable, and yet a likeable character for all his faults.

The direction is good, too, though I personally find the "is this a day-dream or is it real?" scenes a little annoying.

This movie is definitely worth a rental or two, and for you film elitists out there, you can see Jack Black at his pre-Shallow Hal best.

Easily the worst movie I've ever seen

High Fidelity is easily the worst movie I've ever seen. It's as if "A Night at the Roxbury" and "Dick" were to copulate and have one hideous, deformed movie-child... that child would be High Fidelity. Not only does the movie have no redeeming value, but I can't even see what redeeming value it's SUPPOSED to have. Apparently it was supposed to be a dramatic, romantic comedy, but I can't think of a single moment during the movie at which I felt any emotion other than an outpouring of suicidal rage. There was no comedy whatsoever (unless gratuitous use of "F***" counts as comedy), no romance whatsoever (unless talking about people you had sex with counts as romance), and no drama whatsoever (unless you count the precious seconds until the movie is over). Avoid this movie like the plague. In fact, if you have the choice, choose the plague -- I wish I could say that I am exaggerating, but High Fidelity has taken 113 minutes of my life away that could have been used to drown myself in a bathtub so as to never be forced to endure such a horrible, traumatic film.

Either you love it, or Hate it

I've read some of the reviews here on imdb. And I found it interesting that either people love this movie, or hate this movie. In my opinion, I quite enjoyed this movie, probably because of the great performance of the cast, especially Jack Black. He is so funny.

And I love the music in the movie. It's probably the biggest reason why I love this movie. I mean how can you get the jokes if you have never heard of those names of the musicians? Just take my friend as an example, she was with me while seeing this movie, and Belle and Sebastian once mentioned in the movie, and my friend was just like "Who the hell is Belle and Sebastian?" I can imagine why it was hard for her to get the jokes.

I think if you are one big music lover, you would love this movie. Or if you aren't, you may find it boring, just as some of the reviewers said in here. And if you love the movie, you should try the book. I think the book is better than the movie. The movie is good, but the book is great.

I would give 8 out of 10 to this movie.