High Fidelity (film)

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USA DVD cover.

High Fidelity is a romantic comedy film released on 2000-03-31 based on Nick Hornby's book of the same title. In the film, Rob, a self-obsessed music fan has just broken up with his girlfriend Laura. His record store is slowly bankrupting him, his friends care more about pop music than helping him, and he's just learned that his ex is living with someone he utterly despises. In order to figure out why he's doomed to fail, he decides to revisit his previous ex-girlfriends and see where everything went wrong.


I saw this film shortly after it was released on home video with a girlfriend of mine who really liked it and wanted to share it with me. I enjoyed the film and later bought it myself and it became a favorite of mine. Then, I bought the book, read it, and loved it as well.


Actor Character
John Cusack Rob Gordon
Iben Hjejle Laura
Jack Black Barry Judd
Todd Louiso Dick
Catherine Zeta-Jones Charlie Nicholson
Lisa Bonet Marie DeSalle
Joan Cusack Liz
Tim Robbins Ian "Ray" Raymond
Joelle Carter Penny Hardwick
Lili Taylor Sarah Kendrew
Sara Gilbert Annaugh Moss


— This section contains spoilers! —


  • Despite the massive change in setting, the production team did a good job of adapting the book to a two hour film. A lot of the dialogue is word-for-word from the book and there are a lot of little touches of accuracy, like how Laura drives a Volvo.
  • I like all the actors, and they each do a great job of playing their roles from the book. Some were changed slightly, but not in a way that affects the story at all. Jack Black and Todd Louiso perfectly encapsulate their characters, as does Catherine Zeta Jones.
  • The film had several cameos from real musicians.
  • I'm glad they cut the scene where Rob meets with the woman selling off her husband's record collection. Although I think it allows the viewer to be more sympathetic toward Rob, it slows down the story. It's nice to see the deleted scene in the special features of the DVD though.


  • Laura isn't nearly as strong in the film as she is in the book. She's not so much a person as something that happens to Rob. Considering how self-centered Rob is, and how much less he grows in the film compared to the book, it would have been nice if Laura's individuality was expanded upon and Rob learned about her and respected her because of it.
  • I actually would have preferred the film be set in London with British actors, and I think Rob's relationship with Marie would be more interesting like in the book. Still, the Chicago setting worked fine.
  • As much as I adore Joan Cusack, I don't think she was cast properly. I think she played a great Liz in the film, but it is confusing to people who read the book first. She's supposed to be Laura's friend, but, being a real-life sibling with John Cusack, it makes her seem like she's supposed to be Rob's sister instead, and the film doesn't do anything to dissuade this assumption. It doesn't really affect the story though.


  • Nothing.






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