Friday, March 16, 2007

dreamrot's favorite movies week: day 5: High Fidelity

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?
And thus begins one of my desert island, all-time, top-five favorite (not to mention most quotable) movies, High Fidelity. It's the story of a record store owner in Chicago who does all the wrong things.

No. Not all the wrong things. He does the right things, just for the wrong reasons. No. That's not it either.

Lets start over. Rob Gordon owns a record store. He has an apartment he can't possibly afford and, up until VERY recently, had a girlfriend. That would be Laura. Laura and Rob have broken up. She's moving out and he's listening to records, mulling the philosophical implications of pop music.

You see, Rob is in a rut. Much like Shaun the other day, Rob has to do something about his life. He feels he's doomed to repeat the same mistakes that he's made since his first "girlfriend" when he was 14. He thinks that there's some big thing he's been doing wrong all this time. So, he goes on a mission to find out what he's been doing wrong. He wants to kind of rehash the past and try to figure out what happened.

I should have gone to the bathroom BEFORE burying myself in records!

Rob has two employees at his record store, Dick and Barry. Dick is sort of...well, Dick. Soft spoken. Quiet. He looks and acts like the type of guy who enjoys the sad bastard music he listens to. Barry on the other hand is very over the top. Spunky, one might even say. Or, like a rambunctious chihuahua.

So, what do you think of the new Corey Hart record?

Hey, I'm not the smartest guy in the world, but I'm certainly not the dumbest. I mean, I've read books like "The Unbearable Lightness of Being" and "Love in the Time of Cholera", and I think I've understood them. They're about girls, right? Just kidding. But I have to say my all-time favorite book is Johnny Cash's autobiography "Cash" by Johnny Cash.

Rob takes on the mission of looking up his top 5 ex-girlfriends to try to figure out what went wrong while also having a one night stand with a local musician and starting his own record label.

Weren't you on the Cosby Show?

In the process, Rob does some of that growing up thing that people seem to like so much. And, in that growing up, he sees how he really feels about Laura. His problem is that it's not new. There's something about a new relationship when you're still figuring each other out, and that's gone. And he's not sure how to handle that. If he stays with Laura, he'll never feel that particular feeling again. And that frightens him.

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.

This picture just goes to show how much better Cusack's hair is in comparison to the rest of humanity....and why I'm so jealous of the bastard.

There's so much I love about High Fidelity. To start with, it's the first movie I saw Jack Black in and knew I was seeing Jack Black. He's great in a supporting role like this. I don't think that he's much of a lead, but man can he be hilarious in small doses. I love that Dick is so meek throughout the movie, but is probably the most well adjusted of the three. I love that I relate so well to Rob and can really see a lot of similarities between he and myself. I should also at this point add that I hate that I relate so well to Rob and can really see a lot of similarities between he and myself. Think about it, Rob is really not that great of a guy. He's a bit vain and is a bit of a self absorbed jerk. Don't get me wrong, he does kind of redeem himself, but not really. I mean, he asks Laura to marry him based solely on the fact that he's sick of...well, here:

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...
It's probably the most romantic way anyone ever came out and said "I'm settling for you." And that's just it, Rob makes such horrible choices and decisions, but still manages to come off as charming.

And among everything else, I love Laura's little chuckle at Rob's question of he sanity about the cd release party. Just that smile and chuckle.

This is going to make twice this week that I've done what about to do. Not surprisingly they're both movies who appear to be about one thing (zombies and music respectively) and turn out to be about something entirely different, High Fidelity gets what it deserves, 10 mix tapes full of stuff she'd like, full of stuff that'd make her happy, because, for the first time, you can sorta see how that's done out of 10.


Nik! said...

You're a sensational amount of candid.

This is my favorite rating yet. It's sort of how I view the whole, movies and self absorbed jerks.

Unknown said...

a sensational amount of candid...

I like that. I'm not sure exactly what you mean by it, but I like it.

Nik! said...