High Fidelity movie poster
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High Fidelity movie poster

High Fidelity Movie Review

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The critics are swooning over High Fidelity, but it is high boredom. High Fidelity entails John Cusack as Rob, a record store owner who's trying to deal with yet another of his many breakups and realize that he has no life, no motivation. It turns out that it is the movie that doesn't have any real life.

Yes, High Fidelity does have good acting. John Cusack leads with sort of an every man's character. He is believable and the audience can care for him as much as they are supposed to, considering that he can be a jerk at times and is also rather stupid in the dating department. Todd Louiso is the best character in the film, Dick, a quiet, reserved, and shy kind of guy that ends up finding love in the end. Joan Cusack shows up in a couple of scenes as well, and does a good job.

Yes, the screenplay is good. In what looks like an episode of "Malcolm in the Middle" meets "Titus", High Fidelity has sort of a rough look and follows the same chronological patterns and narratives that the two mentioned shows take. The movie starts out with the breakup and then, throughout the course of the story, Cusack, through clever, facing-the-screen narratives, flashes back to his other tragic breakups, including such people as Lili Taylor and Catherine Zeta-Jones (I guessed they liked The Haunting so they decided to do another comedy). The narratives are incorporated well into the present action and are fairly seamless. The only downside is that the screenplay suffers from F syndrome, or more commonly known as overuse of the "F" word. Oh well.

So what the heck is so bad about this well-acted, well-scripted comedy? It's not funny. It's rather boring. Even clocking in under two hours, it is a drag.

Some people might find Cusack's constant mumbling complaints amusing, but most of his statements or punch lines are not funny, and I am not sure if they were intended to be. Sure, there are funny moments. There are several of them. The scene where Cusack dreams of beating up Tim Robbin's new age character (whom I thought should have had more screen time to indulge in his annoyance) is just marvelously funny. And now I'm trying to think of some other moments, but none stick out. If a movie is truly funny throughout, then I remember just about everything. I can barely remember anything. High Fidelity has several funny moments, but overall, it is dull and not very comedic.

And just to add a few other notes, I don't think the ending is that top notch. This is a romance comedy, so it's no surprise that Cusack ends up with the girl at the end, right? So that aside, I don't think the girl, Laura, is all that great. It seems like he degrades himself to be with her at the end, and this film would be much more amusing (probably wouldn't change much in the grade, however) if he dumps her at the end. Furthermore, this isn't a chick ending. This is quite clear when they are sitting in a car near the end of the film, Laura decides that she wants Cusack again, so she decides to have sex right then and there and says it is good she has a skirt on. This obviously isn't a chick flick.

High Fidelity has its high points, but it is just boring.

Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.

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