Jenn’s Dusty Shelf

I have the hugest crush on John Cusack. There is something about his B-class celebrity that really speaks to my heart. My admiration began immediately after I watched High Fidelity. Cusack plays Rob Gordon, a record store owner/retired D.J. that is going through a bad breakup. The film follows Gordon, recounting the “Top Five Breakups” he has survived, with the most recent still underway.

Much of the film’s hilarity derives from its honest interpretation of relationships. Gordon reminisces about losing loves because they did something petty or disinteresting, and in his youth, because they didn’t put out. Each girlfriend had an effect on the next and Gordon, like so many people do, still holds on to the details of past rejections.

The scenes in the record store are filled with employee Jack Black being a dumbass music aficionado. The comedic dance moves and music choices make him a great character, although it does tend to be exactly what you expect from Black as an actor.

The conversations that flitter between the slacker-elite employees prove their music knowledge and the depth of each character’s personality. It makes viewers crave having conversations of their own as each employee takes turns sharing top five B-sides, or top five songs for a Monday morning, etc.


“Did I listen to pop music because I was miserable, or was I miserable because I listened to pop music?” The one-line philosophies in this movie are honest and hilarious. Aside from brief stints at the record shop, the film is basically a one-man show. Cusack delivers long, eloquent monologues that invite you into his emotional misery in an incredibly articulate manner.

There is something about the slacker record store owner, who is so cool without trying, that really makes Cusack an ideal pick for the lead because as an actor, he seems to try little and somehow pull off an outstanding performance.

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