The Culture Bunker

Everybody we know just friggin' looooves High Fidelity, which just makes us more and more certain that we will not. Nick Hornby says the adaptation is so faithful that at times it feels like John Cusack's character is actually reading the book out loud. Erm, cinemawise, this is not something to brag about . . . We're not even great fans of the book to begin with (swell concept, not much of a novelistic accomplishment), but we are still offended by this attitude of "Chicago, London, what's the difference?" Plus we're pretty sure the Lisa Bonet character looked more like Shawn Colvin—or maybe Shelby Lynne on a so-so day—in the novel. Anyway, here's an idea that we wish all actors, screenwriters, and directors would take to heart: Next time you really, really like a book, recommend it to your friends. Just don't make a goddamn movie out of it!

Another of our Top Five reasons for avoiding High Fidelity is because we know that Cusack gives his entire posse work—Tim Robbins and sister Joan and Lili Taylor and those D.V. Pink screenwriter guys— so we're pretty darn sure that Jeremy f'n Piven must be in it as well. Now, if Cusack hired Savage Steve Holland to direct and threw the great Curtis "Booger" Armstrong a bone, maybe we'd be more sympathetic. Anyway, brass tacks is that this is a movie produced by Mike Newell and directed by Stephen Frears, which is like guaranteeing a movie that's twice as boring! Hell, Michael "Zzzzzzzzzz" Apted is afraid this movie might be too slow.

And Nick Hornby is wrong about Steely Dan, incidentally.

A fascinating piece in The New Yorker a couple of weeks back suggests that all kinds of women's health problems can be attributed to the fact that modern society—birth control, work, small families—causes women to have three or four hundred menstrual cycles in a lifetime when the biological norm should be around 150. The article suggests doing away with placebos for birth control users, but we have a better suggestion: Any twentysomething girls who would like to reduce their risk of cancer, we are now officially available to knock you up. Especially that redhead in the new Gap/West Side Story commercials and UK VJ Cat Deeley.

This Diana Ross and the Supremes "reunion" is not unlike Lou Reed getting the Velvets back together with Doug Yule's brother and Willie Alexander. . . .Scary fact: Elliott Smith gets even more ass than Moby. . . .A musing: Every day people die thinking, "I could have sworn I was going to outlive Bob Hope." . . .We haven't actually heard the Le Tigre record, though we would very much like to write our next column on Kathleen Hanna's flat belly in our own personal ink. . . .We see that Utah Valley State has started a Mormon Cultural Studies program. We have often wondered what Jacques Derrida thought about Donny and Marie . . .

To close this week, we'd like to offer up a public defense for Evan Dando. Yes, he's a pathetic junkie who threw away a goodly sized talent, but does that mean he has to take crap from a sick little twist like Bijou Phillips? Now on a naked publicity jaunt plugging Black and White, Bijou is telling anyone who will listen just how lousy Evan was in the rack. Like she wasn't equally whacked out of her gourd when Ev was taking her cherry! Is it really necessary to tell the world that Dando gives bad head? That's just hitting a guy when he's—ahem—down. Poor Evan. He could have been a contender. We blame Courtney.

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