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
1,740 ( 215)
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 ... 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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Did You Know?

Trivia

Alan S. Johnson ("Man in Store") is the lead singer of the band U.S. Maple. A U.S. Maple poster is plastered on the store's counter. See more »

Goofs

Rob's top button when confronting Laura. 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 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 »

Alternate Versions

DVD and "Video Bonus" editions of the movie contain scenes cut from the theatrical release. See more »

Connections

References St. Elmo's Fire (1985) See more »

Soundtracks

Juice (Know the Ledge)
Written by Eric B. (as Eric Barrier) and Rakim (as William Griffin)
Performed by Eric B. & Rakim (as Eric B. and Rakim)
Courtesy of MCA Records
Under License from Universal Music Enterprises
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User Reviews

 
Cusack continues winning streak with this film
5 April 2000 | by SKG-2See all my reviews

I read the novel when it first came out because the title intrigued me, and I found it quite good. When I heard John Cusack was adapting it and moving the action to Chicago(from London in the novel), I was a little worried, because I worry about changing things during adaptations for arbitrary reasons, but I needn't have worried; though I have a few quibbles, which we'll get to later, Cusack and Co. have done a fine job adapting the novel.

First off, I've read one comment which claims it stereotypes "music geeks." The type of people Hornby, Cusack, his co-writers(D.V. DeVincentis and Steve Pink, who also co-wrote GROSSE POINT BLANK, and Scott Rosenberg), and director Stephen Frears are portraying is a very particular type of "music geek"; the type who is a snob about music. Almost all of us, I would say, are aggressive about our likes and dislikes when it comes to music, but not many, I agree, compare liking Marvin Gaye and Art Garfunkel to "agreeing with both the Israelis and the Palestinians." And probably not many of us would be so cut off from feelings that, when hearing about a person's death, would find no better way of expressing their sorrow than listing their top 5 songs about death. Yet we do like these people as characters because we see even if they have some snotty attitudes, they do have a genuine love for their music, and they're in a low-paying job because they love what they do. And who among us hasn't turned to music when we've felt sad(or happy), like Rob does, or wished that Bruce Springsteen(and a pox on the person who, in their comments, implied he was passe. Bruce will NEVER be passe) would talk to us directly like he talks to us through his music? The novel and the movie captures all of that.

Another strength, of course, is Cusack's performance. Woody Allen once said that while American actors were very good at playing virile men of action, there weren't many who could play more "normal," regular people. Cusack, on the other hand, has carved out a niche for himself playing regular guys. He doesn't look like The Boy Next Door, and he's neither stereotypically sensitive or hip, but comes across as a guy who feels both at ease and yet still longs for something more. At his best, like in movies such as THE SURE THING, SAY ANYTHING, THE GRIFTERS, BULLETS OVER BROADWAY, GROSSE POINT BLANK, and this, he plays people on the cusp of growing up, who are able to if they want to, but aren't sure if they want to, and yet he's made each of them different. Rob's condition may be a little more conventional - he's not sure if he wants to settle down yet - but Cusack, while unafraid to show his unlikable qualities, makes us like Rob anyway.

The rest of the cast is also quite good. The well-known names only get short takes(Lisa Bonet, Joan Cusack, Tim Robbins, Lili Taylor, Catherine Zeta-Jones), but they make the most of their time. I've never seen Iben Hjejle before(I haven't seen MIFUNE), but she does well as the most grown-up person in the movie. But the real stars, besides Cusack and the music, are Jack Black and Todd Louiso as Rob's co-workers. Black especially reminds me of people I knew.

As I said, I do have some quibbles. There are a couple of incidents in the book which don't make it to the film which I would have liked to see(the Sid James Experience, and the lady who wanted to sell Rob a ton of valuable records for a ridiculously low price). I'm getting tired of movies which use rain as an expression of sorrow, and this is an example of overuse. And the character of Laura isn't developed as well in the movie as she was in the novel. Nevertheless, this is well worth checking out.


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Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English | Danish

Release Date:

31 March 2000 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

High Fidelity 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

Gross USA:

$27,287,137

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$47,126,295
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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