High Fidelity (2000) / Comedy-Drama
MPAA Rated: R for language and some sexuality
Running Time: 113 min.
Cast: John Cusack, Iben Hjejle, Todd Louiso, Jack Black, Lisa Bonet
Director: Stephen Frears
Screenplay: D.V. DeVincentis, Steve Pink, John Cusack, Scott Rosenberg
Review published September 30, 2000
Based on Nick Hornby's book of the same name, this features Rob, owner of a small vinyl record store which caters to obscure and hard-to-get vinyl lovers. Rob seems to have hit an impasse in his mid-30s in the relationship department, and has gone through a series of relationships where he doesn't seem to have learned anything at all about the opposite sex. Now his current girlfriend is leaving him, making him recall all his past screw-ups, and he realizes that this one is too important to just let go.
John Cusack has a knack for picking freshly written and insightful comedies that, while not always successful critically and/or commercially, are definitely unlike most comedies out there. HIGH FIDELITY in another in Cusack's niche of smartly written endeavors and may be his best since SAY ANYTHING.
Director Stephen Frears, who directed Cusack ten years before in his equally intriguing drama THE GRIFTERS, shows class and savvy in delivering the excellent script (co-written by Cusack) without adding needless crude bits to spruce up the laughs. Probably will be the most underrated comedy of 2000, and definitely one worth seeking out for those who like "comedies of truth" without all the gross-out vulgarities like the rest of the so-called funny movies out there.
©2000 Vince Leo