High Fidelity

JESS: There’s a record store you should check out. It’s run by this insane freak who’s like a walking encyclopedia for every punk and garage-band record ever made. Catalog numbers . . . it’s crazy. The place is right out of High Fidelity.

High Fidelity, 2000 romantic comedy-drama film directed by Stephen Frears, based on the 1995 British novel of the same name by Nick Hornby, with the film’s action moved from London to Chicago, but otherwise faithful to the book.

The film stars John Cusack as a music-lover named Rob with little understanding of women who owns a record store called Championship Vinyl. He and his employees Dick and Barry (played by Todd Louiso and Jack Black), armed with an encyclopedic knowledge of music, compile “Top 5” lists for every occasion, and openly mock their customers’ tastes. Eventually, Rob is able to produce a mixtape to please his girlfriend, Laura (played by Iben Hjejle).

High Fidelity was a commercial and critical success, receiving praise for its witty dialogue, strong performances and solid soundtrack. It’s been voted one of the best romantic comedies, and one of the greatest films of all time. It was made into a 2020 television series.

It’s interesting that Jess compares the record store he is taking Rory to with one out of a romantic comedy – especially one where a smart but emotionally obtuse young man learns to express his feelings.

EDIT: Thank you to High Fidelity fan Alisa for supplying the correct name of the actress playing Laura.

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