High Fidelity is a movie from the year 2000 (oldie but goodie) starring John Cusack as recently heartbroken Rob Gordon, owner of a record store called Championship Vynil and music snob. Gordon breaks the fourth wall from the very first scene–continuing with this trend throughout the entire movie–when he artfully depicts how modern pop music has influenced his so-far miserable love life:
“Do I listen to pop music because I’m miserable, or am I miserable because I listen to pop music?”
Rob’s girlfriend, Laura, has just broken up with him, and he’s in a state of distress. The movie continues with him narrating his top 5 worst breakups, starting from middle school up until his most recent break-up with Laura.
At the beginning, you think that maybe this guy has really been unlucky in love. As the movie progresses, however, you really start seeing how the problem is that he doesn’t understand women at all. And then towards the end, you get the impression he’s a total a-hole with serious commitment issues.
The good thing about this movie, however, is that the main character starts from being completely unaware of his faults, and then slowly, through a series of events, his eyes are opened to who he really is and his deep character flaws. And the best part of it is that he tries to be better. A better boyfriend and a better human being.
Jack Black plays one of the two record store employees, who are all music snobs who look down at people’s tastes and occasionally sell a few records. He steals the show in every scene he’s in, actually making me miss him, since he hasn’t been in anything major lately. Joan Cusack plays Rob Gordon’s older sister, and the chemistry between the both of them is totally palpable, seeing as they’re siblings in real life as well.
High Fidelity is an unpredictable movie that is both funny and serious at times. The characters are all fleshed out and very likable, even with all their flaws. It’s a very watchable and entertaining movie.