6 June 2013

High Fidelity

High Fidelity 2000
  • Director: Stephen Frears
  • Based on book by Nick Hornby
  • Cast: John Cusack, Iben Hjeljle, Todd Louiso, Jack Black, Joan Cusack, Lisa Bonet, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Tim Robbins, Lily Taylor
  • Personal “oh yeah him/her” reaction, i.e. have seen this actor/actress in:
    • John Cusack  2012, Serendipity, 1408, Being John Malkovich, The Cradle Will Rock, The Thin Red Line, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, Grosse Point Blank
    • Iben Hjejle – Defiance, The Marriage of Gustave III (Swedish TV series)
    • Todd Louiso – Scent of a Woman, Billy Bathgate
    • Jack Black – Be Kind Rewind, Margot at the Wedding, The Holiday, Tenacious D, King Kong, School of Rock, Cradle Will Rock, Mars Attacks!, Dead Man Walking
    • Joan Cusack – School of Rock, Runaway Bride, Cradle Will Rock, Grosse Pont Blank, Corinna Corinna, Working Girl, Married to the Mob
    • Lisa Bonet – The Cosby Show
    • Catherine Zeta-Jones - Intolerable Cruelty, Chicago, Traffic
    • Tim Robbins – War of the Worlds, Mystic River, The Shawshank Redemption, Jungle Fever, Bull Durham
    • Lily Taylor – Six Feet Under, Public Enemies, A Slipping Down Life, I Shot Andy Warhol, Arizona Dream, Born on the Fourth of July, The Addiction
  • Why bought: John Cusack, Nick Hornby’s book
  • Seen: Twice. This time: April 28, 2013 with Hal and YW (read-book-see-movie club)

       If Nick Hornby hadn’t written the book and John Cusack hadn’t played Rob, both book and movie would probably have been unbearably annoying. As it was, neither Hal nor YW liked the book. I did. Yes, Rob is pathetic, neurotic, totally irritating and I’m certainly glad he’s not my boyfriend but I feel sorry for him, can relate to his music nerdiness – I too love pop/rock music, I too love to make lists – and in spite of it all he’s quite likeable.
John Cusack eliminates many of Rob’s most irritating hang-ups – leaving plenty! – and creates a character that surely all young men unsure of their gender role can relate to and all of us women can say, “Does stuff like that really bother these poor guys?”
In fact John Cusack is perfect, as he so often is. Joan Cusack, his sister, in her small role is too.  Iben Hjejle as Laura is as well. Jack Black is too. In other words they all get it just right.  Tim Robbins is brilliant as the awful New Age understanding boyfriend – a good addition; he was quite anonymous in the book.
It’s not a spectacular movie but it offers insights. It translates well into American, as most British and European books/movies do not.  The music is good throughout and obnoxious Jack Black pulling an obnoxious Andrew Strong by belting out an impressive Marvin Gaye song á la The Commitments at the end is not really a surprise but fun to see.
It’s a feel-bad-feel-good movie and the cameo of Bruce Springsteen giving Rob advice doesn’t hurt.
3 ½ * of 5

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