High Fidelity Review

“… a movie that has undeniable charm, even though it can be tough to get through at times.”

High Fidelity is movie that I’m sure many people would call a classic. High Fidelity stars John Cusack as Rob Gordon, a record store owner who has just broken up with his girlfriend. The movie then has Rob catalogue his “top 5 breakups” as he revisits them to figure out if he is the problem when it comes to relationships. High Fidelity is akin to Clerks in that it is a movie that isn’t about much. During High Fidelity we have Rob Gordon essentially narrate his past experiences with relationships, and we get to see his very uneventful life play out. Despite that fact, High Fidelity ended with me feeling entertained.

High Fidelity is a movie that is not for everyone; hell, it wasn’t for me until about halfway through. A lot of this is because of the character of Rob Gordon. See Rob is a character that is cynical as well as pretentious. It’s a perfect character to set up the coming of age story that is High Fidelity, but honestly it is exhausting to watch. Not only does watching the character of Rob Gordon exhaust me, but it also frustrates me. I don’t claim to have all of the answers, but to see a character do the wrong thing constantly because of his ego is frustrating to watch. Unfortunately for High Fidelity, this behaviour stays constant until the last 10 minutes of the movie, which leads me to believe that the character didn’t change at all but instead had a brief moment of clarity. All of this leads to the film being very long-winded in its message throughout the beginning. The first hour of High Fidelity feels like two, but again the movie does pick up. Despite some of the characters begin insufferable High Fidelity highlights great performances from everyone involved. John Cusack does a great job of laying Rob Gordon (despite how much I dislike the character), Iben Hjeijle does a great job as Rob’s (former) girlfriend Laura, and then there is a cast of supporting characters including: Jack Black, Lisa Bonet, and Tim Robbins (who I couldn’t help but laugh at) who all do amazing jobs as well. It almost goes without saying that High Fidelity features an amazing soundtrack to complement the film, and it even features a cameo by Bruce Springsteen. Despite me drilling into the fact that the character was hard to watch High Fidelity does something magical; it creates an interesting movie out of something that has no right be one. Much like Clerks (which I already referenced earlier) High Fidelity takes its “not really about anything” premise and runs with it. Sure, at it’s core the movie is about maturing as a person, but as I already mentioned this does’t happen until the end of the movie for Rob. That means that the first 3/4 of High Fidelity had to be essentially padded with wonderful performances and interesting characters; and High Fidelity knocks that out of the park.

Ultimately High Fidelity is a movie that has undeniable charm, even though it can be tough to get through at times.

I give High Fidelity a B

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