High Fidelity (2000)

HIGH FIDELITY is an endearing examination of Break-up Hell, as
seen through the teary eyes of John Cusack's top 5 list-talking
LP collector and owner of an out-of-the-way Chicago record store.
He's just been dumped by his live-in (Danish doll Iben Hjejle) 
which prompts both a recap of his "Top Five All Time Desert Island" 
endings and, later, a where-are-they-now revisiting of each ex.  
(Catherine Zeta-Jones [!] and Lily Taylor among them.)  There are 
also numerous attempts at reconciliation with the latest leaver, 
most of which involve Cusack-- who really wears a long face better 
than anyone-- standing, sitting, or walking in the pouring rain.  
(Sure is wet in that windy city!)  For comic relief, Cusack's crew 
numbers two--  an ultra-soft spoken slow-talker (Todd Louiso) and a 
sarcastic sort of Chris Farley lite (Jack Black), whose smug comic 
style is more annoying than amusing.  (Who thought him funny, any-
way?)  The script, from Nick Hornby's novel, is dangerously knowing 
in the ways of love and the desperation of men that lose it. (Warn-
ing: do *not* see this movie with a recent ex!)  Alas, for all of 
these admittedly generous charms, director Stephen Frears (THE HI-
LO COUNTRY, THE VAN) still tries his hardest to turn the viewer 
*off*, by grossly overusing the Cusack-talks-to-the-camera device.
He eases up a bit in the second hour, but, man, is it annoying in 
the first half.  With Lisa Bonet, Tim Robbins,  Natasha Wagner, 
and John's sister Joan.  (Rated "R"/110 min.) 

Grade: B-

Copyright 2000 Michael J. Legeros
Movie Hell is a trademark of Michael J. Legeros

Originally posted to triangle.movies as MOVIE HELL: April 6, 2000

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Copyright 2001 by Michael J. Legeros -Movie Hell™ is a trademark of Michael J. Legeros