Saturday, June 11, 2011

High Fidelity: Movie Review


Realistic and insightful comedy to the hopelessness of relationships.

"High Fidelity" is really not a romantic comedy. It's a comedy about the hopelessness of men and romance. Rob (John Cusack) is thirty-something and he owns a record store, but that's just because that's what happens after you break-up with a girl in college and you go into a stupor for days, weeks, months, years and when you wake up you have aged but not matured. The fact that Rob and his fellow record store employees are not mature is an understatement. And that's where the comedy comes in.   2000

Directed by: Stephen Frears

Screenplay by: D.V. DeVincentis, Steve Pink, John Cusack and Scott Rosenberg
Based on the novel by Nick Hornby

Starring: John Cusack, Iben Hjejle, and Jack Black

The narration of Rob's thoughts and the analysis of his "top 5 break-ups of all time" are hilarious. The overall consensus that men are stupid and women are from another planet is taken to extremes, but realistic extremes. I, too, was shocked that his ex-girlfriend Charlie (Catherine Zeta-Jones) was in the phone book! Girls like Charlie shouldn't exist, but I'm not surprised that people like Nick Horny and his alter-ego Rob find them.

Author Nick Hornby has an incredible talent for characterization; turning every day life into absurdities but back into realities and then making light of it all. Cusack fully embodies the immaturity and frustrations of slacker Rob, while Jack Black pours all of his manic energy into music exhibitionist Barry.

Set in a record store with music lists like "top 5 albums to play on a Monday morning", music is certainly a major part of "High Fidelity"—but not overwhelmingly so. It's funny and meaningful for snobs and neophytes alike, but preferably somewhere in between so you can appreciate their jabs at the smarter-than-thou indie-hipster scene.

Breaking-up may be hard to do, but "High Fidelity" does it with a pumping soundtrack, insightful humour, and immensely quotable and hilarious dialogue.


Recommended:

Forgetting Sarah Marshall (2008) - The romantic comedy angle of a break-up with real humour and real characters.

Almost Famous (2000) - A genuine story of rock and roll that is funny, poignant and real.

Grosse Pointe Blank (1997) - Professional assassin meets high school reunion in this very funny dark comedy.