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613 user 168 critic

High Fidelity (2000)

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

Director:

Stephen Frears

Writers:

Nick Hornby (book), D.V. DeVincentis (screenplay) | 3 more credits »
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Popularity
2,790 ( 392)
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 3 wins & 21 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
John Cusack ... Rob Gordon
Iben Hjejle ... Laura
Todd Louiso ... Dick
Jack Black ... Barry Judd
Lisa Bonet ... Marie De Salle
Catherine Zeta-Jones ... Charlie Nicholson
Joan Cusack ... Liz
Tim Robbins ... Ian Raymond
Chris Rehmann Chris Rehmann ... Vince
Ben Carr Ben Carr ... Justin
Lili Taylor ... Sarah Kendrew
Joelle Carter ... Penny Hardwick
Natasha Gregson Wagner ... Caroline Fortis
Shannon Stillo Shannon Stillo ... Alison Jr. High
Drake Bell ... Rob Jr. High
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Storyline

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 ...

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Let's get it on. Maybe tonight. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Music | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and some sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English | Danish

Release Date:

31 March 2000 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Alta fidelidad See more »

Filming Locations:

Chicago, Illinois, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$30,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$6,429,107, 2 April 2000, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$27,277,055, 10 September 2000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The guitarist playing with Marie DeSalle when they see her at Lounge Ax is Jeff Parker from Chicago bands Tortoise and Isotope 217. See more »

Goofs

"Janie Jones" by The Clash is listed as a "side one, track one." While it is indeed the first track on The Clash's British debut album, and the book was set in England, the film was moved to the USA, where the album started with "Clash City Rockers." But as record geeks, they would have been familiar with the British album as well, and could well have regarded it as the true debut album. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Rob: 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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Crazy Credits

The main end credits are printed on music-type flyers posted on poles and walls. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Stjernerne på slottet: Tættere på Iben Hjejle (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

Rock Steady
Written and Performed by Aretha Franklin
Courtesy of Atlantic Recording Corp.
By Arrangement with Warner Special Products
See more »

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User Reviews

 
What came first - the music or the misery?
6 July 2015 | by SpikeopathSee all my reviews

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


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