Many feel that a film adaptation needs to be completely faithful to it original written format. When viewing the film version of a novel or play they know, they want to find in the film what they valued in the literary work, without asking whether this is the sort of thing film can do (McFarlane 165). Often film makers have to make changes to novels in order to tell a compelling story with a medium which is completely different from literature. This said, High Fidelity's film adaptation is as close to a completely faithful transfer from literature to screen as can be found. Sadly, this faithfulness to the novel still has its opponents.
[...] Since American actors need to be active, Jack Black's over the top acting fits right into traditional American roles, thus aiding in the Americanization of Frears' High Fidelity. Finally, one of the least important, but most noticeable changes in the film was the character of Marie De-Salle. In the novel, Marie de-Salle was an American folk singer. However, in the film, since the location was moved to America, they made her into an exotic African-American woman. In Dettmar's article, he explains, the film, having moved the scene from London to Chicago, had to make Marie African-American; for, while a white American folksinger might seem both prestigious and an exotic amorous conquest to a lad who owns a record store in London, a younger version of Emmylou Harris would hold no real mystery for our American (B11). [...]
[...] In reference to the lack of change in Frears's adaptation of High Fidelity, Vineberg states, movie pleased Hornby fans who were delighted to hear his tart, buoyant language up on the screen (B12). This was an obvious oversight of the language used, but the message is clear - the original intent of the dialog was left virtually unchanged. If there was any perceivable change in the dialog, other than obvious changes to words used in America, the film's language was more crisp and edgy. [...]
[...] In both the novel and the film she is a long suffering woman who puts up with too much of Rob's crap, and thus decides to leave him. Unlike with most of the other characters, her character in the film is diminished a bit from what it is in the novel. She is virtually the same in both through-out most of the story, but towards the end, she has a more powerful presence in the novel. In the novel, instead of the occasional visit to Rob's apartment to gather her things, she begins calling him from payphones. [...]
[...] Each of these changes to the story serves to Americanize Hornby's novel without changing his intended message. The Americanization itself is done to make the story more socially available for an American audience, for whom the movie was created. High Fidelity had to be Americanized in order to create a film because of the lack of dramatic action in the novel. In film, especially in America, there needs to be drama of some sort in order to move the story forward. Although the novel contains traces of drama, they needed to be emphasized in order [...]
[...] It is important here to note that John Cusack and three of his friends wrote the script for High Fidelity. It is noticeable in many American movies, and especially any movie that has ever won an academy award, that the protagonist is almost always likable or has redeeming qualities to atone for their failings. In the novel, the actions of Rob become much worst before he gets better. One scene in particular that is changed is the after funeral sex scene in Laura's car. [...]
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