Thursday, May 5, 2011

High Fidelity

Ok, now something a bit lighter but nevertheless legendary : High Fidelity (2000), by Stephen Frears, based on a novel by Nick Hornby, starring John Cusack, Joan Cusack (yet again !), Jack Black, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Iben Hjejle and Tim Robbins.
The film focuses on Rob Gordon (Cusack), a thirty-something guy who owns a record store ; after being dumped by his latest girlfriend Laura (Hjejle), he tries to figure out why he keeps failing his relationships.
Rob: Look at these. I used to dream I'd be surrounded by exotic women's underwear forever and ever. Now I know they just save their best pairs for the nights they know they're going to sleep with somebody.
He spends his time in his shop, helped by Dick and Barry, whom he refers to as « the musical moron twins ».
The opening lines made me expect a drpressing film :
Rob: What came first, the music or the misery? People worry about kids playing with guns, or watching violent videos, that some sort of culture of violence will take them over. Nobody worries about kids listening to thousands, literally thousands of songs about heartbreak, rejection, pain, misery and loss. Did I listen to pop music because I was miserable? Or was I miserable because I listened to pop music?
Being dumped sends Rob, who has never really grown up, into a journey where he will finally understand why he cannot commit. This implies visiting his « top five all break-up » ex-girlfriends, including Charlie (Zeta-Jones).
Rob: My desert island, all-time, top-five most memorable breakups, in chronological order, are as follows: Alison Ashmore; Penny Hardwick; Jackie Alden; Charlie Nicholson; and Sarah Kendrew. Those were the ones that really hurt. Those places are reserved for the kind of humiliation and heartbreak you're just not capable of delivering.

Rob: I can see now I never really committed to Laura. I always had one foot out the door, and that prevented me from doing a lot of things, like thinking about my future and... I guess it made more sense to commit to nothing, keep my options open. And that's suicide. By tiny, tiny increments.
Rob finds clarity of what he wants : the comfort of being with someone who cares and respects him. His view on relationships evolves :  he stops giving in to fantasies and decides he wants to settle down into a nice comfortable reality.
Rob: I'm tired of the fantasy, because it doesn't really exist. And there are never really any surprises, and it never really...
Laura: Delivers?
Rob: Delivers. And I'm tired of it. And I'm tired of everything else for that matter. But I don't ever seem to get tired of you, so...

Rob has a tendency for self-pity, lacks maturity and is moderately likeable, but there is not one moment where the viewer is not rooting for him. The performances are brilliant. John Cusack is excellent and the perfect choice to impersonate Rob ;.Iben Hjejle is good, I did not know her before, and Jack Black is hilarious. It may be more a guy’s movie, but men will relate to it and women will find out about men !
There are many hilarious moments throughout this movie, together with a great soundtrack : I went straight on iTunes to buy many of the songs after watching High Fidelity !
It is smart and funny. Watch it, this will not be a waste of time.

No comments:

Post a Comment