Retro Review: High Fidelity

Trying for a “Reality Bites” type feel we are faced with a comedy about breaking up. This is funny?

“High Fidelity”, based on the cult novel by Nick Hornby, is a about a rash, lazy, socially confused, record store owner named Rob Gordon (John Cusack).

Rob is faced with the fact that he is the “king of breaking up” and if he doesn’t rectify this dilemma soon he will end up alone.

“High Fidelity” is a lot like “Reality Bites” in that we are voyeurs to losers finding love.

The difference between Fidelity and Bites is that Fidelity isn’t as smart, fresh or nearly as funny.

But what saved me in this film was John Cusack’s grasp of his character.

We haven’t seen a Cusack like this in a long time. I loved a lot of his anecdotes to the camera and his illusion that the character is smarter than he can express.

His chemistry with his cronies and their constant “Top 5” mutterings were great character development.

As the movie unfolded I was reminded of Kevin Smith’s Clerks where the characters in that film were as ironic and socially confused as these guys.

Is this an attempt by Hollywood to do a Kevin Smith type movie?

If so, I can see why Smith is the king of these kinds of films.

Another Smith element used here is the use of visible Hollywood alumni in basic cameo type roles.

Cameos here were done by such stars as Catherine Zeta Jones, Natasha Gregson Wagner, Lili Taylor, Sara Gilbert, and of course Tim Robbins. Robbins role was one of the funniest in the film. That whole confrontation scene will be a crowd pleaser.

Where the movie waned for me was character’s obsession with not letting go of the past.

Also why was their constant communication between Cusack and his ex? Did the end of the film really solidify the end of this character’s quest for happiness? Was making a commitment enough?

In some ways I found it to be a Hollywood way of arriving at a happy ending. I would have preferred him grow into an adult and then find a happy relationship.

But instead it seems the woman sacrificed it all to take one step back to be with him. Well breaking up is hard to do.

(3 out of 5)

So Says the Soothsayer.

One thought on “Retro Review: High Fidelity

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