862. High Fidelity

Title: High Fidelity
Director: Stephen Frears
Year: 2000
Run time: 1hr 53m

“John Cusack (Being John Malkovich) stars 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 funny rock snob Barry (Jack Black) and the more quietly opinionated underachiever Dick (Todd Louiso). But Rob’s business isn’t the only thing in his life that’s floundering — his needle skips the love groove when his longtime girlfriend Laura (newcomer Iben Hjejle) walks out on him. And this forces him to examine his past failed attempts at romance the only way he knows how!”

Live blog

1:31 – “Do I listen to pop music because I was miserable, or was I miserable because I listened to pop music?”
6:47 – It’s a big shop for a niche product.
10:02 – “Since when is it bullshit to state a preference?”
14:12 – Just had to pause to purchase the Johnny Cash autobiography mentioned within. This could be an expensive movie.
16:43 – Loving all his musical questions. Sub-question!
20:52 – Autobiographical is a ridiculous but genius organisational method.
32:44 – An Ian-less universe.
37:08 – He made her a mixtape!
42:45 – I like quibbling about the technicalities of seventh grade relationships.
43:48 – Actual Bruce!
54:24 – Her fringe is bugging me.
57:27 – “He’s grumpy, he’s broke…” quite the catch.
1:01:57 – How is there not a sitcom about this record store?
1:06:57 – She really is smart!
1:08:21 – “Do you have kids and stuff like everybody else?”
1:20:05 – I am quite enjoying living life through a series of top five lists, too.
1:28:31 – The rain in this movie is epic.
1:37:03 – “I’ll give you 10% of the door not to play.”
1:39:00 – “Now the making of a good compilation tape is a very subtle art. Many dos and don’ts. First of all, you’re using someone else’s poetry to express how you feel. This is a delicate thing.”
1:44:35 – Kathleen Turner Overdrive!
1:46:31 – “The making of a great compilation tape like breaking up is hard to do and takes ages longer than it might seem. You got to kick it off with a killer to grab attention, then you’ve got to take it up a notch but you don’t want to blow your wad, so then you’ve got to cool it off a notch. There are a lot of rules.”

Conclusions

I loved this! Within about five minutes, I loved it. Laugh out loud funny, with great dialogue, a brilliant soundtrack and an interesting story. Of course, written by Nick Hornby, the book gives a great source material to work from but the cast are brilliant and I was super impressed with John Cusack – narrating directly to camera is an unusual way to get through a movie.

On the one hand, I can’t believe we haven’t watched this before because it was so good, but on the other hand, I think this was a really good time to watch it because I got far more of the musical stuff than I would have before. Actual Bruce was in the movie!

I wonder if a lot of the Big Bang Theory was inspired by this – some slightly geeky chaps hanging around a niche store, riffing about a very specific part of culture. Like I said, a sitcom of the boys in their record store would work for me.

Rating: 5/5