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High Fidelity (2000)

by on 2011/02/10


Five reasons I wanted to watch High Fidelity:

  • I enjoyed the original book by Nick Hornby.
  • It’s about girls, why we seek them out, and why things don’t always work.
  • It employs mix-compiling as a device.
  • It employs list-making as a device.
  • I once gave up a rare version of the poster, and have fixated on it ever since.

My ten favourite cast members from High Fidelity:

  • John Cusack as Rob Gordon
  • Natasha Gregson Wagner as the girl from The Reader
  • Alex Desert (Swingers) as Louis
  • Todd Louiso as Dick
  • Joan Cusack as Liz
  • Lisa Bonet as Marie de Salle
  • Sara Gilbert as Annaugh Moss
  • Lili Taylor as Sarah Kendrew
  • Tim Robbins as Ian “Ray” Raymond
  • Bruce Springsteen as himself

Five ways High Fidelity’s Rob Gordon reminded me of Ferris Bueller:

  • He lives in Chicago.
  • He often breaks the fourth wall.
  • He rarely compromises.
  • He is surrounded by similar music.
  • He’s oh-so-retro.

Five of my favourite quotations from High Fidelity:

  • “It would be nice to think, since I was fourteen, times have changed.”
  • “If you don’t know, there’s a chance, right?”
  • “What really matters is what you like, not what you are like.  Books, records, films, these things matter.  Call me shallow but it’s the fucking truth.”
  • “I guess it made sense to commit to nothing, keeping my options open, but that’s suicide . . . by tiny, tiny increments.”
  • “I’m tired of the fantasy because it doesn’t really exist.”

Five cool musical references in High Fidelity:

  • The first Fantastic Plastic Machine album
  • A Bauhaus T-shirt
  • Two separate appearances of Herb Alpert’s Whipped Cream album
  • The Beta Band’s “Dry the Rain” scene
  • Love’s cover of Burt Bacharach’s “Little Red Book”

Five random thoughts about High Fidelity:

  • Catherine Zeta-Jones (Entrapment) in a Pretenders shirt almost offsets her character’s personality.  Almost.
  • Sometimes, just sometimes, a cheating, mooching scumbag has a valid excuse.
  • Peter Frampton’s “Baby I Love Your Way” works well with the right performer.
  • Some of Rob’s relationships ended for very good reasons.
  • Jack Black (Be Kind Rewind) was really abrasive even before he got famous, but he sure can sing.

Five reasons to watch — and re-watch — High Fidelity:

  • It contains the single funniest revenge fantasy I’ve ever seen.
  • Freeze-frame the establishing shots of Championship Vinyl and just look around.
  • It’s life-affirming…
  • …yet honest…
  • …with ample style to spare.

Rated 14A/R for adult situations and language

114 minutes

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