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High Fidelity (2000)
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Review Date: March 29, 2000
Director: Stephen Frears
Writer: J. Cusack, D.V. DeVincentis, S. Pink, S. Rosenberg
Producers: Tim Bevan and Rudd Simmons
Actors:
John Cusack as Rob Gordon
Iben Hjejle as Laura
Jack Black as Barry
Plot:
A 30-something year old man unwilling to grow up suddenly has to come to grips with his lifelong inability to maintain any sort of successful relationship. He decides to revisit his previous relations in an attempt to educate and invigorate his present state of life.
Critique:
A funny, original, small tale which kept me entertained me with its laughs and intrigued with its universal relationship dilemmas, despite almost losing me with its never-ending conclusion. If you don't like John Cusack as an actor or a person (is there a difference?), I would suggest you scratch this film off your list because he is everywhere in this movie! He speaks into the camera, plays that same guy he seems to have played in half a dozen other flicks and ultimately takes you through the adventure of his life's most hurtful relationships, so if you don't like him...chances are, you won't dig the film. I did enjoy him and his performance in this movie because of a well-written script which belted out plenty of major laughs, tossed a few decent "dialogue keepers" out there for kicks, and ultimately entertained and secured my interest for most of its run. Granted, I had a major problem with Cusack's girlfriend in the movie, one Iben Hjejle, who seemed totally out of place, radiated very little charisma, and ultimately just jostled my attention with her come-and-go accent and inconsistent delivery. But I digress.

Thankfully for this film and Mr. Frears, the rest of the cast was rock solid with a handful of "name" actors dropping by for small cameos here and there. The great Tim Robbins seemed to be the one who had the most fun with his character, and I certainly shared in that enthusiasm. But in the end, the movie is about relationships, love, commitment and growing up. Do these subjects matter or mean anything to you? Have you had your heart broken, broken a heart, felt like nothing, felt like the king of the world...well, if you have, then chances are that you will definitely share something in common with at least one of the characters from this movie. The story is sincere, Cusack is very good in his role, and more than anything, the film is actually pretty funny, especially the first half. The last 20 minutes or so seemed to drag a little, with certain scenarios slowing the pace down, but all in all, I enjoyed this film.

So if you like relationship comedies with touches of drama sprinkled here and there, this one should definitely make your "to do" list for the weekend. Ironically, for a movie that is set in and around a record store, featuring hundreds of references to music of all eras...the soundtrack was actually pretty inconspicuous. Strange.
(c) 2016 Berge Garabedian
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