I’ve had this on DVD for years. I don’t know why I bought it or if anyone recommended it to me. Over the years I’ve watched it probably close to 50 times. There’s just something about it that resonates with me. It’s like a relationship movie but from a guy’s perspective. This may not have the name recognition of The Notebook or Titanic’s cinematography but there is a charm that I don’t get from those other movies.
Yeah he’s an a-hole
High Fidelity was very successful at making unbelievable characters seem completely believable. Perhaps it’s just because of playing on common stereotypes or perhaps because the characters have flaws and we’re often reminded of them. For instance the main character Rob – played by John Cusack – is a jackass but you don’t stop rooting for him and hoping he finds just what he needs. Todd Louiso, who plays the perennial “quiet and shy nice guy” has a few moments that highlight how cold of a person he can be. Throughout the whole of the movie you are reminded how a person really is, not some one dimensional caricature of us but a fleshed out person that hurts, feels and struggles every day and you don’t hate them for it.
One interesting aspect to the movie is that the resolution of the film seems to happen in spite of the actions of the characters. There’s a certain life essence that is captured where it feels like nothing is happening no matter how hard you push but then just as you’re about to give up everything falls into place. Maybe where the pieces fell aren’t where you expected or even wanted but somehow it works and things are better for it. Possibly a happier ending than you would’ve gotten if everything had gone your way. The unpredictable and unrelenting wind.
You know how they say life often imitates art? That’s kind of how the life of High Fidelity seems to have gone. From the start it seems like the studio didn’t really understand what this movie was really about and that could not be more apparent than by watching the original trailer below. Trying to force it to fit into the mold of a rom com with their advertising really didn’t help. Even with a minor re-branding it couldn’t push the domestic gross into the green.
Like Rob Gordon searching for himself, High Fidelity was lost and on the verge of failure it found itself with a niche appeal that brought it into the green. It wasn’t the marketing team because for all they did, things only got worse. Fans just took it for all the ups and downs, flaws and all to bring it where we are now. A testament to how things could be if we would only get out of our own way. We’ll find just the right audience that likes us just how we are.
The Quick and Dirty Verdict
“Kind of dark, kind of soothing.”