High Fidelity, abbreviated as Hi-Fi, is the term used to connote high quality in sound and images, and in this case High Fidelity, John Cusack’s 2000 romantic comedy, rightfully earns the status of Hi-Fi. Great music, likeable characters and a lovely message for all those fearful of commitment, High Fidelity is easily a favourite for most.
John Cusack’s portrayal of Rob Gordon is truly memorable, and it’s this character that takes us on a journey of self development that both men and women can relate to. Rob Gordon is a flawed but so likeable character and ultimately we are interested in his fate, which keeps us entertained through-out the seemingly long runtime of 113 minutes. Deep down Rob Gordon is a romantic, but his fear of commitment is what prevents him from, basically, fulfilling his dreams. We all have dreams, we all want to have a sense of meaning and purpose in life, and this is why High Fidelity resonates with many. On top of that the story-telling style employed in this hi-fi of a film is rather enjoyable.
The reason why it feels like we get to known Rob Gordon so well is that we are never left in doubt about what he is thinking or feeling, well, because, he tells us, directly. Not only does this open the door into the developing philosophy of Rob Gordon, but it enhances the films comedic value. High Fidelity is an adaptation from Nick Hornby’s novel of the same name, and with his blessing, the adapted script doesn’t skip a beat, it’s relevant and full of meaning, making High Fidelity a film that will stand the test of time, besides maybe the wardrobe choices!
Jack Black (Barry) works well as a supporting cast member, making his loud and bouncy nature a scarce occurrence, which works to add comedic relief, plus we get to hear him sing in this film, which is always a treat. Todd Louiso (Dick) is the shyest of the bunch, but his performance is fantastic, I really wanted to see more about this character, but he serves his purpose for the film exceptionally well. What ever happened to Todd Louiso? Perhaps a High Fidelity Side B: Dick’s Mix? And then there is Laura (Iben Hjejle) who happens to be Rob’s most recent break-up. She delivers one of the best lines in the film, when she tells Rob, “make yourself happy,” in reply to what would make her happy.
Laura’s simple but ever so meaningful words embody one of the messages this film delivers. For any relationship to work, both parties need to be happy as individuals. Rob Gordon goes though a process of self-analysis where he comes to the realisation that he’s always been filling his own personal void while he pursues ‘fantasies’. Because his romantic interests have always been selfish, unknown to himself at the time, true love escapes him. It’s only until he finds his own personal satisfaction, that he can then, in turn make others happy, more importantly his true love. The way this film ends is so touching, enough to move any romantic to tears.
High Fidelity is true to it’s name. Hi-Fi performances and characters, Hi-Fi comedy and lest we forget the music! Hi-Fi meaningful messages can be found in this film, and that is why here at FilmMunch, High Fidelity earns cuisine status.
To further celebrate this iconic film, it will be the subject of our next episode on ThatMomentIn’s Podcast, so make sure you check it out!
TRIVIA COOKIES: The characters of Rob, Barry and Dick are musical aficionados, so it was a monumental task to select the soundtrack for this film. Turns out that John Cusack and his writing partners listened to over 2000 records, only to select about 70 music titles that would showcase in the film in one way or another. That is a lot of music!