Today I decided to finally check out Stephen Frears’ High Fidelity. I really can’t believe I haven’t seen this movie earlier, because I loved it. That’s 2 for 2 with John Cusack for the blog now, having recently seeing Say Anything for the first time. I wasn’t expecting it to be such a love story, as all I knew about it was that Cusack’s character owned a record store and Jack Black was in it. High Fidelity is a really wonderful examination of relationships, and the pain and confusion we feel when they come to an end, all flavored by a huge passion for music and pop culture.
High Fidelity follows Rob Gordon, a record store owner who was recently broken up with by his girlfriend Laura. We learn at the beginning that Rob loves making lists for everything, so he runs down the list of his five worst breakups. Keep in mind that Rob breaks the fourth wall constantly in the movie, turning to the audience like we’re just a silent friend along for the ride. It’s a really great and unique choice for a movie, and it helps us relate to Cusack’s character a lot more throughout the movie, seeing and hearing his thoughts like we’re reading a novel. So Rob runs down this list of his worst breakups, and once he concludes, he decides to find them all now to see why none of them worked out. Was it a character flaw on his part? Why did nobody want to keep him around? The movie takes a few turns I didn’t see coming, but they all feel earned. The ending is almost a little too happy for the movie that it starts out being, but I’d say overall it worked really well.
So the best part of High Fidelity was definitely John Cusack. I’ve always liked him as an actor, and I hadn’t even seen his big career defining movies yet. You really feel for him in High Fidelity, even after you start to see how he has his own flaws like anybody else, but you get his perspective on it, which leads to understanding. He kills it with his ‘first-person’ monologues, talking right to the camera about his different thoughts on women, music, and more. It doesn’t make any sense for the reality of the movie, but nonetheless it’s one of the best components. Speaking of the music, this is one of the best films that really capture the passion for music of all kinds. One of my favorite movies is School of Rock (also with Jack Black) for that same reason.
That’s about it for High Fidelity. If you dig movies about relationships, good music, or Jack Black doing his Jack Black thing, you’ll love this movie. It’s one of the best breakup movies I’ve seen, but also funny, charming, and makes you happy once it’s over. There’s the ‘list of reasons you should watch High Fidelity’, so thanks for reading and stay tuned for more write-ups coming soon!