British writer Nick Hornby’s works are some of the most frequently adapted contemporary writers, with seven feature film adaptations, as well as TV and stage versions. Many of these films are American adaptations of otherwise very British stories, as well as multiple versions of several titles. Perhaps the most beloved is Hornby’s 1995 novel High Fidelity. The book has become both a hit film and (short-lived) Broadway musical adaptation. Now High Fidelity comes to Hulu with a new spin this February— Zoë Kravitz replaces the central role that was previously male.
In the novel, High Fidelity tells the story of Rob, a record store owner, revisiting past relationships to discover why his latest love left him. The story was a hit 2005 film starring John Cusack, as well as a short-lived Broadway musical. Both adaptations shifted the story’s setting from its original London to America, the film to Chicago, and the musical to Brooklyn.
Brooklyn again finds itself home to the love-lorn music store owner. Only in the new High Fidelity from Hulu, Rob is played by Kravitz (Big Little Lies, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them), who is also an executive producer on the series. Given Hornby’s primarily male protagonists (About a Boy, Fever Pitch), and Rob’s rather tunnel-vision view of women in previous iterations, the gender swap aims to tell the story in a fresh new way. However, the premise is the same: the dramedy will see Rob revisiting her past relationships through her obsession with pop culture and music “top 5” lists. Still recovering from a break up by her true love, her quest to find insight into what went wrong will hopefully make future endeavors into romance more successful.
The casting of Kravitz has a subtle nod to the Cusack film, as her mother, Lisa Bonet, was one of the love interests in the film version. And while Cusack’s Rob was running a failing store clinging to classic vinyl during a tech boom in 2000, a hip Brooklyn location in 2020 is likely doing fine with the uptick of vinyl popularity, so we’ll see how the music lover is doing in this new adaptation.
The 10-part series premieres, appropriately enough, on Valentine’s Day, February 14, 2020. Along with Kravitz, High Fidelity stars Da’Vine Joy Randolph (Dolemite Is My Name, Empire) and David H. Holmes (Mindhunter) as Rob’s two best friends helping her sort through her tangled romantic past. Playing two of her love interests are Jake Lacy (Fosse/Verdon) as Clyde, a new arrival in New York and possible new suitor, and
Kingsley Ben-Adir (Peaky Blinders) as Mac, her last long-term relationships, and whose departure Rob is still recovering.
Earlier this year, it was announced that the series, originally slated to air on Disney+, moved to Hulu, which Disney now owns. The streaming platform, with its stable of pop-culture driven Originals aimed at women and millennials (Shrill, Dollface, Four Weddings, and a Funeral), feels like a much better fit for High Fidelity. Hopes are high that the show will find a substantial audience on the popular streaming platform.
How to watch High Fidelity
High Fidelity begins on Hulu on February 14. Hulu can be watched through Hulu.com online, as well as apps for Apple TV, Roku, Chromecast, Amazon Fire, Xbox, and mobile devices. Hulu has three plan options:
- $7.99/month with limited commercials
- $14.99/month commercial free
- $44.99/month commercial-free + live TV of up to 50 channels, as well as on-demand feature.
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