Self-reflection. So this is about a record store owner (John Cusack) who is down on his luck with his love life. When his current girlfriend (Iben Hjejle) is walking out the door, it causes him to go back and examine his previous failed relationships, and he walks us through the top five worst breakups in his life. This is a very special movie for me, and all things considered, it has had a larger impact on my life than any other film out there. It got me through a rough patch, and I went through a spot where I watched it about 4 times in a one week period. High Fidelity has rewatchability like no other, and more importantly, it has wisdom to share with you on the anatomy of a relationship. I would like to think I have a far better understanding of relationships at this point in my life, but I can always learn something new with this movie showing me the way.
I’ve read books like The Unbearable Lightness of Being and Love in the Time of Cholera, and I think I’ve understood them. They’re about girls, right?
For the vast majority of people out there, chances are you’ve been dumped, and chances are you’ve been the one severing ties as well. Rob Gordon, our main character, goes through bouts of being selfish and shallow, but it makes him relatable in the context of the story. This movie is all about him coming to terms with the fact that he’s an asshole, and figuring out where he goes from here. There is nothing simple about relationships, and you have to never forget to look at the big picture, which is something Rob is not always able to do, because he’s just a man. He breaks the fourth wall about as often as Deadpool, and he gives you all of his opinions and perspectives. I get something out of his narrations every time I watch this film, and it’s usually something different, it depends on where I’m at in my life. I’m nowhere close to being the same person I was five years ago, and I feel like I actually learn something new about myself upon each viewing. I can’t think of a single other movie out there that I can say that about, and I doubt I will ever be able to say that about another.
It’s sublime like that, or at least it is for me.
Apart from my personal relationship with this movie (I also relate to how obsessive this man is about lists), the material is deftly crafted by critical darling Nick Hornby. The entire cast is quirky and hilarious, and they have great lines of dialogue to deliver at any and every single point in the entire run-time. The soundtrack to this movie is like no other, and I promise you that you’re not going to catch every single music reference here, but I don’t even think the characters in this movie would expect you to. If you are reaching a point in your life where you are hitting a midlife crisis and asking yourself, “what does it all mean?”, there is not a more important movie out there for you to watch. It’s honest, even brutally so, and I will forever love everybody involved for putting together something that has touched me on such a personal level.
High Fidelity (2000) *****
– Critic for Hire