High Fidelity

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The cinematic equivalent of a really great mixtape, High Fidelity is a biting comedy starring John Cusack as an obsessive record collector in his mid-thirties struggling to reconcile his youthful enthusiasm for pop music with the adult responsibilities that keep standing in his way of a good time. Based on the cult novel by Nick Hornby, High Fidelity features Cusack as Rob Gordon, the owner of a semi-failing record store located on one of the back streets of Chicago. He sells music the old-fashioned way – on vinyl, with two wacky clerks, the hysterically passionate rock snob Barry (Jack Black) and the more quietly opinionated underachiever Dick (Todd Luiso), driving away customers whose taste in music doesn’t match their exacting standards. But Rob’s business isn’t the only thing in his life that’s floundering – his biggest problem is his failing relationship with longtime girlfriend Laura (Iben Hjejle), a lawyer who needs more out of the relationship than Rob is capable of giving. To Rob’s horror, Laura starts dating Ian (Tim Robbins), his upstairs neighbor, known throughout the building for his long and noisy sex sessions. Rob, on the other hand, finds himself entangled with singer/songwriter Marie DeSalle (Lisa Bonet), as he tries to deal with his breakup by tracking down his previous ex-girlfriends and taking a fresh look at what he’s been doing wrong. (Dir. by Stephen Frears, 2000, UK/USA, 113 mins., Rated R) 35mm