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 ...
The bass player in the uncredited band backing Jack Black at the end of the movie is Matt Lux, current bass player with Iron & Wine. 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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After all the credits, the crackling out-groove of a vinyl album is heard. 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.
And High Fidelity shows that this is more true for Rob Gordon (John Cusack) than most people. Rob owns Championship Vinyl, a record store where he and his two employees, Dick (Todd Louiso) and Barry (Jack Black), argue about music and insult customers. This is the background for a fantastic movie early in the year and one of the funniest movies I've seen in a while.
The movie's main plot is Rob recounting his past breakups via his favorite organizing device, the Top 5 List. He purposely excludes his most recent girlfriend, Laura, from it. He is trying to deal with her leaving him for a strange, world music-listening, martial arts-doing freak named Ian (Tim Robbins). Then he decides to look up all his old girlfriends, and in the process finds out a lot about himself.
The best scenes, however, are those in the record store - Todd Louiso and especially the utterly hilarious Jack Black steal every scene they're in. They argue over music incessantly, and anyone who knows a good deal about music will be laughing hysterically during these scenes. Dick is a quiet music geek in the classic sense of the word, while Barry is a cruel, ridiculous elitist.
In the end, High Fidelity is a wonderful, terribly funny movie with a lot of great stuff in it. See it.
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