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  • Writer's pictureJames Rutherford

'High Fidelity': The Farcical Tale of a Record Store Owner's Reevaluation of His Romantic Missteps

Movie poster for High Fidelity (2000)

High Fidelity (2000) is a romantic comedy starring John Cusack as Rob Gordon, a charmingly angst-ridden music aficionado situated in the heart of Chicago's record store subculture. Following a painful breakup with long-term girlfriend Laura (Iben Hjejle), Rob embarks on a voyage of self-exploration as he reevaluates his past relationships in order to make sense of his failures in romance.

Rob's exploits play out in an often comical manner, as he runs his struggling record store "Championship Vinyl" while trading barbs with eccentric, music-obsessed employees Dick (Todd Louiso) and Barry (Jack Black). Desperate to understand his failed relationship with Laura, Rob revisits his "Top 5" most memorable breakups, using them as a framework to explore his own shortcomings. Each of these unsuccessful experiences reveals different aspects of Rob's character and ultimately sheds light on his fear of commitment.

Directed by Stephen Frears (Dangerous Liaisons, The Grifters) and based on Nick Hornby's novel of the same name, High Fidelity paints a richly-textured illustration of human relations through the prism of pop culture. The film is brimming with memorable supporting performances, particularly from Black and Louiso, while Cusack holds it all together with his wit and emotional honesty. An evocative trip down memory lane, High Fidelity is a cinematic treat for music lovers and film fans alike.


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