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Scott Ventura >> Movie Commentary >> November 2000 >> High Fidelity

High Fidelity

Movie Commentary by Scott Ventura


Scott's Rating:
4 / 5
Times Seen:
Viewing Date:
November 2000
IMDB Name:
High Fidelity (2000)
Stephen Frears
comedy, romance
MPAA Rating:
R for language and some sexuality.


Sometimes I'm convinced that I watch too many movies. It's too easy to get mired in picking apart every little thing and not allowing the totality of the movie work. Sometimes, though, I luck out and see a movie that restores my faith in good cinema, and often when I'm least expecting it. I was surprised when, almost immediately, I had to turn the subtitles off while watching High Fidelity. Here is a movie that sucked me in with just a few lines of dialogue, and I didn't want to be distracted by reading when I could be basking in a great John Cusack performance. The movie achieves a terrific intimacy by having Cusack's character break the fourth wall. It is gravy that the rest of the characters feel like real people, too.

Anti- Romance

High Fidelity begins with a break-up. The protagonist spends most of the movie mulling his lifetime of failed relationships. The flashbacks and the reunions are endearingly done. This is hardly stock romance material. Even when we see the couple meet, it's not a Meet Cute. This stunningly human approach is enjoyable both because it neatly sidesteps so many conventions of the genre and because these people, even the eccentric ones like Dick and Barry, are more true-to- life than most screenplays.

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Copyright 2000 by Scott Ventura. All rights reserved.