High Fidelity

March 31st, 2000


more trailers High Fidelity

Rob and SarahDirector Stephen FrearsRichard Dreyfuss at event of High FidelityRob & LauraRob & LauraRob and his employees encounter Ian

Rob, a record store owner and compulsive list maker, recounts his top five breakups, including the one in progress.

Release Year: 2000

Rating: 7.6/10 (85,894 voted)

Critic's Score: 79/100

Director: Stephen Frears

Stars: John Cusack, Iben Hjejle, Todd Louiso

High Fidelity follows the 'mid-life' crisis of Rob, a thirty-something record-store owner who must face the undeniable facts - he's growing up. In a hilarious homage to the music scene, Rob and the wacky, offbeat clerks that inhabit his store expound on the intricacies of life and song all the while trying to succeed in their adult relationships. Are they listening to pop music because they are miserable? Or are they miserable because they listen to pop music? This romantic comedy provides a whimsical glimpse into the male view of the affairs of the heart.

Writers: Nick Hornby, D.V. DeVincentis

John Cusack - Rob Gordon
Iben Hjejle - Laura
Todd Louiso - Dick
Jack Black - Barry
Lisa Bonet - Marie De Salle
Catherine Zeta-Jones - Charlie Nicholson
Joan Cusack - Liz
Tim Robbins - Ian 'Ray' Raymond
Chris Rehmann - Vince
Ben Carr - Justin
Lili Taylor - Sarah Kendrew
Joelle Carter - Penny Hardwick
Natasha Gregson Wagner - Caroline Fortis
Shannon Stillo - Alison Jr. High
Drake Bell - Rob Jr. High

Taglines: A comedy about fear of commitment, hating your job, falling in love and other pop favorites.

Release Date: 31 March 2000

Filming Locations: Buck Town, Lincoln Square, Chicago, Illinois, USA

Box Office Details

Budget: $20,000,000(estimated)

Opening Weekend: $6,429,107 (USA) (2 April 2000) (1183 Screens)

Gross: $27,277,055 (USA) (10 September 2000)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

The song "Dry the Rain" by The Beta Band can actually be heard twice in the film. Once while trying to sell 5 copies of the 3 EP's, and once while Rob proposed to Laura.

Errors in geography: While engaging in a monologue about his relationship woes, Rob boards a Purple Line Express train of the Chicago Transit Authority. The Purple Line Express boards at the Howard Station on the far north side of Chicago and does not stop until the Belmont Station in Lakeview. However, just after Cusack boards the train, it passes Lincoln Hand Laundry and Graceland Cemetery; thus he must have boarded in Edgewater, well before Belmont, despite the fact that the train he was on does not stop in that neighborhood. Moreover, the scene ends with the Purple Line train (the "Loop" destination indicator is visible behind his head) descending into the subway. However, the Purple Line Express does not use the subway, but rather the elevated tracks, going into the Loop and turning back around and proceeding back through the city into the north suburbs.

[first lines]
Rob: 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?

User Review

One of the best of all comedies but also a very poignant study of male life

Rating: 10/10

Having read the very good Nick Hornby novel of the same name I looked forward to "High Fidelity" quite a bit, but I never expected it to be as good as it is. This is easily one of the best comedies of all time for its laughs alone - but what separates it from other comedies (particularly new-age ones) is that it's a very poignant multi-layered tale that focuses, primarily, on males - and why we are as we are. Love, life, relationships, music, movies, hobbies, jobs, ticks, ups, downs - everything is here.

It's to John Cusack's credit that he took a "classic" contemporary novel set in London and transposed it to Chicago - and it works just as well (if not better) than the British version. It shows what a universal story this actually is, if so many people from all over the world can appreciate it, no matter where it is set. What we lose here are the abbreviations such as "mate," "cos" and other British expressions - but essentially the story is exactly the same, as is the character of Rob Gordon.

Cusack proves his worth here and there isn't a single bad performance in this film, except perhaps for the love interest who tries to sport an American accent and it's quite uneven at times.

Jack Black is fantastically funny and reveals once again why he's leagues ahead of other obese comedians like Chris Farley who merely relied on OTT acts and weight for laughs - Black, like John Candy, actually acts and so far in his career has turned out some really good films which is more than can be said for many of his competitors.

The script has some very funny one-liners and movie/music in-jokes (I love the "Evil Dead" bit - "Because it's so funny, and violent, it's got a kick-a$$ soundtrack...and it's so violent!").

But at the end of the day what really haunted me (so to speak) about this movie long after I had seen it was the fact that it DOES stay with you ages after the credits have stopped rolling. It's poignant and really spot-on in many regards - add that to a film full of flawless performances and great direction and clever ideas and one-liners and jokes, and you've got a top-notch comedic masterpiece that places "High Fidelity" in the top ranks of American (and British!) comedy - "with," as the DVD back cover says, "a bullet." Highly recommended. 5/5