OK, so you are, in all probability, going to fit into one of the following categories:
a) you've read and loved the book and are eagerly awaiting the film; b) you've read and loved the book and dread seeing how the film will ruin it; or c) you really couldn't care either way.
If you're in a) or b) let me assure you that all is in order. The change of location to Chicago from London that seems to get mentioned in every single review is barely noticeable, with the characters being universal. If you were in category c) you might just have a pleasant surprise.
The ever-dependable John Cusack plays Rob, a record store owner, and fountain of male angst. After being dumped by his girlfriend for the pompous twat next door, he takes the audience on a tour of the history of his failed relationships, all nestled snugly alongside his immense record collection organised according to when he first bought them (yes, he's that much of a music freak). All the while spouting forth his definitive "Top Fives" of everything from the aforementioned break-ups to songs to have played at your funeral.
One warning though - if you hate John Cusack, (but why would you? - Liz), then this may very well not be the film for you since he is the audience's constant and only guide into the events in front of you. However, he does give a fabulous performance, mixing pathos with charm and wit and proving to be a more than capable narrator.
Cusack is aided by a great supporting cast, including Todd Louiso and Jack Black as Rob's shop assistants. Black especially, taking the art of scene stealing to an almost criminal level, brings a lot of the film's humour as the assistant who has never heard of service with a smile and gives a rather impressive performance of "Let's get it on".
With cameos from, amongst others, Joan Cusack, Tim Robbins, Lilli Taylor, Catherine Zeta "Mrs Douglas" Jones and Bruce Springsteen, this is a great film that exposes one man's fragile psyche. If you are among the vast number of normal people, you'll empathise with Rob on his tour.
Rotten Tomatoes Score:
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