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.
With only the plan of moving in together after high school, two unusually devious friends seek direction in life. As a mere gag, they respond to a man's newspaper ad for a date, only to find it will greatly complicate their lives.
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 majority of fliers and stickers on the front of the register stand are bands either from Chicago or on Chicago record labels, including Urge Overkill, Falling Wallendas, Veruca Salt, and Liz Phair. These bands have members that are known to hang out in Wicker Park (one of the filming locations), and the local bar Rainbo Club, where the "proposal" scene was filmed. See more »
In the opening scene, Rob is listening to the 13th Floor Elevators on his stereo via headphones. Laura walks in, leans and pulls the lead out of the stereo. This should mean the music is playing out loud, but it doesn't. After she leaves, Rob turns the music up and it plays through the normal speakers. But she never turned it down.
Just above the headphone jack connection is a knob labeled A, B, and A/B. This is a channel selector, which would have given him the option to run the headphones through A (where it is set) and external speakers through B. So the mistake may not be that she never turned it down, but that he didn't change the channel to the external speakers. 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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At the beginning of the movie Dick mentions an album by a fictional band titled 'Pop, Girls, etc'. That became the Hungarian title of the movie. 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.
It was about time someone put together a film with a genuine appreciation for the love/music connection that didn't end up being something along the lines of "Singles". For music lovers who tend to put a soundtrack to everything they experience, this film is a blessing. I am one of those people, so I understand that if you're not, you'll get less from the movie. All I'm trying to say is that this is one of those films that demand you to root for the characters and the events if you want to enjoy it. The deeper the affection you feel for them, the more you'll enjoy the movie.
Personally, I think John Cusack's character is one of the most engaging in the comedy genre of the last decade. This is the kind of character I like: simple and complex at the same time, just like in real life. Somebody likable but annoying at times. Again, I feel a deep personal connection with him, and I understand him every time, even when he acts stupid.
But he is not alone. The rest of the cast is terrific.
Anyway, don't forget this is a comedy. You will laugh your ass off with some situations and dialogue. Hilarity comes from many different sources: you've got black humor, silly humor, complex (people would say "intelligent", but I despise the term) humor... Special mention goes to Tim Robbins paying a visit to the record store. Genius.
On a very personal level, I think there's a magnificent scene that sums up the heart and the brains of this movie. John Cusack talks to the camera (something that happens often) instructing the audience on how to make a perfect music compilation for your loved one. If you like that concept, the movie will grab you and won't let you go. If that idea doesn't sound seductive to you, you might just have a good time. If you are a rock music devotee, this flick is heaven.
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