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    review by Tom Hagen                   Full Review List

High Fidelity

Based on Nick Hornby's novel of the same name, High Fidelity is a comedy about life, relationships and the importance of good music. John Cusack plays Rob Gordon, a recently dumped thirty-something who spends his days hanging out in the record store he owns, compiling top five lists of everything and fighting hard against the inevitable truth that he is in fact growing up.

The film starts with Rob, in order to deal with his latest break up, listing off his top five most painful splits of all time. Aided by an apparition of Bruce Springsteen he decides that in order to figure out his bad luck with romance he must revisit all his old girlfriends to find out why they dumped him. Men everywhere will cringingly recognise themselves in hapless hero Rob as he dissects each and every painful break up he's endured. It's funny but it still deals with relationships in a much more intelligent manner than is normally attempted by Hollywood.

Rob's obsession with his love-life is bettered only by his obsession with music. He and his music geek friends spend hours compiling top five lists, rearranging their record collections and pouring scorn on anyone who they deem to be in possession of inferior taste. As Rob says they judge people on what they like rather than on what they are like.

I found Cusack's portrayal of Rob to sit very comfortably with the mental image I'd built up while reading the book. In fact overall the translation from page to screen is accomplished very well. So what if they've changed the setting from England to Chicago, location doesn't matter for a story that's so universal.

In conclusion then, High Fidelity is a well acted, well-scripted film, both intelligent and funny with a brilliant soundtrack. Well worth renting.

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