High Fidelity


(2000) ★★★

BBC1: Sunday 14 June, 11.15pm

Chicago record collector John Cusack is shaken out of his apathy when he’s dumped by live-in girlfriend Iben Hjejle. Not getting much solace from his two colleagues at the vintage vinyl record store – ebullient Jack Black and epicene Todd Louiso – Cusack looks back at the Top 5 break-ups in his directionless life. “Some people never got over ’Nam or the night their band opened for Nirvana,” he muses direct-to-camera. “I never really got over Charlie…”  (don’t panic, that’s Catherine Zeta-Jones). Soliloquy is notoriously difficult to pull off on film, tending to be both self-regarding and self-pitying. But Cusack’s a canny actor – he co-produced and co-scripted this smart adaptation of Nick Hornby’s popular book, and he takes advice from The Boss, Bruce Springsteen. He even manages to make the endless Top 5 lists entertaining. The girl-boy stuff rarely rises above the level of trite adolescent reminiscence, but the picture comes alive with the record store banter when Cusack hangs out with the musical moron twins. The hilariously meek Todd Louiso looks like the singer out of REM while fat Jack Black blusters like a psychopath, offending the hapless customers with gusto: “Do you even know your daughter? She couldn’t possibly like I Just Called to Say I Love You… unless, oh my God, is she in a coma?” Talking of which, ITV4 has Richard Curtis’ astoundingly awful pirate radio flop The Boat that Rocked at 11pm.

Certificate: 15
Duration: 109min