Martin Blank is a professional assassin. He is sent on a mission to a small Detroit suburb, Grosse Pointe, and, by coincidence, his ten-year high school reunion party is taking place there at the same time.
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 ...
John Cusack mentions reading "Love in the Time of Cholera", a book that features heavily in another of his movies, Serendipity. See more »
When Caroline, the journalist, is speaking to Rob in the record store, her hairstyle changes. 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 »
In the version premiered on Comedy Central in 2003, there are numerous dialogue changes due to adult language, but several of these can be clearly identified as alternate takes rather than overdubs:
1. When Rob talks about Deep Purple and his autobiographical record collection, Dick simply says "no way."
2. Rob says "is that Peter Frampton? Why?" instead of "is that Peter f'ing Frampton?" just before he enters the lounge.
3. Rob says "it made me feel like less of a... whoever the hell Laura thinks I am" during the phone call to Liz.
4. Rob shouts to himself "who... is Ian!?" and rips posters off the wall after he talks to Liz.
5. When Liz comes into the store, she says "hey Rob... you selfish jerk!"
6. In the bar, Rob says (due to a mis-edit) "but really good" twice (once in a medium shot and again in the close-up) and asks "how come suddenly I'm the world's biggest jerk?"
7. At dinner with Rob, Penny calls the guy she slept with a "dirtbag" and tells Rob to "go to Hell."
8. The whole scene where Rob gets Charlie's answering machine is a different take, again without language.
9. The shoplifting scene has a differently paced take when Rob says "how much is this deck worth to you and how much did you steal? Can you do the math?"
10. Charlie says "no, I can't believe you, Rob. I knew it. You are," in an alternate take when she sits down after the dinner party scene, instead of repeatedly cursing.
11. Barry's "top five songs about death" is a different take and even has Rob adding "Not Dark Yet, by Dylan" before he runs off to get the phone.
12. Rob asks "Hey! What the hell is this, huh? What is this?" when he finds Laura's flyer.
13. The scene where Rob offers Barry money not to play at the release party is different.
Who says familiarity breeds contempt? In this film of heart break, betrayal, true friendship, and love, Cusak adapts Hornby's book perfectly, melding self doubt, fear of death, and a search for truth with modern cinema and pop music. Rob, Dick, and Barry are all struggling men in their late twenties (thirties in the book) trying to find a way to identify themselves, and live at peace. Rob has the most conflict as he flounders through one relationship to another, never getting comfortable, and always finding a way to mess it up. It's a brilliant tale of coming to terms with reality, and having a bit of fun along the way. The casting was pheonimal, scenes perfectly picked, and music parallelling that of the mood set in the book. It's just a shame so much had to be cut. I would recommend this movie to anyone with a calloused ear and a desire to finally relate with a character.
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