SXSW 2000 Film Festival and Conference


Dir: Stephen Frears; Scr: Nick Hornby, DV deVincentis. Steve Pink, John Cusack, Michael Rosenberg; Prod: Tim Bevan, Rudd Simmons; DP: Seamus McGarvey; Ed: Mick Audsley; Music: Howard Shore; Cast: John Cusack, Iben Hjejle, Jack Black, Todd Louiso, Lisa Bonet, Joan Cusack, Sara Gilbert, Tim Robbins, Lili Taylor, Catherine Zeta-Jones.

35mm, 114 min., 2000 (RP)

When critics anticipate that a film will be a cult favorite before it is even released, it usually signifies two things. First, that the film might not be as financially successful as it deserves to be. Second, that it isn't quite good enough to justify mainstream success. Mark my words: Stephen Frears' High Fidelity defies both these rules, and yet it will earn a deserved cult-like following. Why? Consider the five all-time top reasons.

One: High Fidelity features irreverently hip John Cusack as vinyl enthusiast Rob Gordon, a record store owner accused of having no interest in music. Two: Rob is a tell-it-like-it-is kind of guy who connects with all audiences. Three: That doesn't stop him from throwing around inside jokes to reward a generation of die-hard music fans. Four: There's a little bit of Rob Gordon in all of us, sometimes more than we would like to admit. Often less, considering that he can count Catherine Zeta-Jones and Lisa Bonet among his past conquests. Five: High Fidelity brings Cusack the closest he's come to his Say Anything... days. This is Lloyd Dobler after college, and in the back of our minds, we know he'd stand outside his girlfriend's window with a boombox until she changed her mind. What's not to love about a movie that's loyal to its audience, true to itself, and revealingly funny along the way?

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