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High Fidelity (2000)

May 26, 2009

8/10 Mixtapes

I first saw this movie way back when I was in high school. Liked it, but wasn’t crazy about it. Probably was too young to really get it. It wasn’t until I saw it again this past weekend that I really started to appreciate how good this movie is. It probably helps that my taste in music doesn’t culminate with Green Day’s Greatest Hits any more, but whatever, it’s a really good romantic comedy even if you are that guy who has “I Just Called To Say I Love You” on his iPod.

High Fidelity is about a guy that owns a record store, his mid-life crisis that’s caused by his most recent girlfriend leaving him, and his ability to re-examine everything that’s gone wrong in his life by breaking it all down into “Top Five” lists. It’s based off a book by Nick Hornby, who also wrote the source material for another great romantic comedy, About A Boy. So it’s got that going for it too.

The thing is, a lot of romantic comedies suck. They’re either cliche’-ridden, sappy as shit, not funny, or have nothing new to say about love, relationships, etc. Luckily, High Fidelity doesn’t have these faults. It’s a more mature take on the whole “the one that got away” storyline, one that’s atypically genuine and supported by real, and very flawed, characters.

I’m not a big John Cusack fan, but he seems pretty adept to playing the heartbroken, endearing protagonist after doing it in a million other romantic comedies in the ’80s. IMDB his filmography, it’s crazy. But he also has a great script to work with, so that really makes all the difference.

And maybe I’m just imagining this, but I feel like I meet a lot of people who don’t like Jack Black. This always surprises me because I think he’s one funny mofo, and it’s his roles in movies like High Fidelity that make me weep for the J.B. naysayers. This movie was really his breakout role and it’s easy to see why he became a household name from this point on. But even if you don’t find him as funny as I do, it’s worth sitting through High Fidelity to at least watch him belt out “Let’s Get It On” by Marvin Gaye.

Another shout out to Tim Robbins who plays Cusack’s ex-girlfriend’s new boyfriend, a Zen-like version of Steven Seagal. Totally hilarious and he has the best scene of the entire movie.

High Fidelity is a great date movie, but it’s also just a really good movie in general. Really heartfelt, really relatable, freaking hilarious, and it doesn’t hurt that it has an awesome soundtrack. Might be up there in the top-five romantic comedies list.

Alright, probably top-ten.

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