Thirty-something Rob Gordon, a former club DJ, owns a not so lucrative used record store in Chicago. He not so much employs Barry and Dick, but rather keeps them around as they showed up at the store one day and never left. All three are vinyl and music snobs, but in different ways. Rob has a penchant for compiling top five lists. The latest of these lists is his top five break-ups, it spurred by the fact that his latest girlfriend, Laura, a lawyer, has just broken up with him. He believed that Laura would be the one who would last, partly as an expectation of where he would be at this stage in his life. Rob admits that there have been a few incidents in their relationship which in and of themselves could be grounds for her to want to break up. To his satisfaction, Laura is not on this top five list. Rob feels a need not only to review the five relationships, which go back as far as middle school when he was twelve, and try to come to terms with why the woman, or girl as the case may ...
There are 5 records displayed on the wall in Rob's apartment, which can be seen briefly after Laura leaves at the beginning of the movie. We can assume that these are Rob's personal Top 5 Favorite Albums, although this is not one of the "top 5" topics discussed over the course of the film. These records (from left to right) are "Maggot Brain" by Funkadelic, "Tonight's the Night" by Neil Young, "Wild Honey" by The Beach Boys, "Goo" by Sonic Youth, and "Double Nickels on the Dime" by Minutemen. See more »
Rob's top button when confronting Laura. See more »
What came first, the music or the misery? People worry about kids playing with guns, or watching violent videos, that some sort of culture of violence will take them over. Nobody worries about kids listening to thousands, literally thousands of songs about heartbreak, rejection, pain, misery and loss. Did I listen to pop music because I was miserable? Or was I miserable because I listened to pop music?
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The opening of the film begins with the sound of the mechanism (which releases the belt that drives the turntable) initiated by the tone arm of a record player swinging over, followed by the needle making purchase in the opening groove of a vinyl record. See more »
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.
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