One of my favorite movies ever. And not just because these characters (especially Rob Gordon) are basically like me. This movie just really nails the culture of obsessive dorks, especially those into music.
Based on a novel, this is a fun, witty, and excellent romantic dramedy.
Rob Gordon is a 30-something record store owner and feverish music collector who, after a bad break up, decides to go through his past relationships to figure out what went wrong, and how to improve his chances in the future.
Along the way he has to deal with his two equally obsessive and nutty employees, and learn to balance his youthful passions with the realities of having to be a responsible adult.
Like I said, I can relate to this movie. A lot. I'm not exactly like Rob, but I do share some of his quirks, tendencies, and general outlook on life. Our tastes in music are similar, too, but not quite the same. I would definitely say I'm somewhat of a snob (unfortunately), but more so with films than music.
John Cusack is perfect here, and this is easily his best and most likable character. He really nails the obsessive music fanatic trying to reassess his place in the world. As his employees Dick and Barry, Todd Louiso and Jack Black (especially Black) are likewise quite awesome, and a blast to watch. They too nail the character type, and provide for many of the film's biggest laughs.
Then newcomer Iben Hjejle is quite fine as Rob's most recent ex Laura, and I'm kinda bummed out that she hasn't really done anything since. Another of Rob's former flames is played by Catherine Zeta Jones, and she is a delight. Then there's Tim Robbins as a nutty yuppie/Rob's former neighbor/Laura's new flame. He's perfectly smarmy and really excels at making you dislike him.
The writing is quite strong, but not perfect. If you want a strong plot, then go somewhere else. This one's pretty light on narrative, and, while it's not the deepest film ever, it does still have some substance to it. For the most part, the film is fairly down to Earth and realistic, and that's both a good and bad thing. I mean, especially if you can relate, then some of this might be a bit uncomfortable to watch. But, it does at least end in a fairly satisfactory way.
All in all, though, this film rocks. As I said, it's a favorite of mine, so I am biased, but still, you should definitely check this out.