High Fidelity review

A film about a record store owner, who recounts his list of top 5 breakups, one of which is currently happening to him.

Rob, a record store owner, is currently in the middle of a breakup with his girlfriend, Laura. He is shown to be unhappy, to him it seems that he is unsure whether he is unhappy or not, he seems confused.

Rob is also a compulsive list maker, he has a list for almost every occasion; his top 5 side one track one songs; songs he’d like to be sung at his funeral. He does this with his employees, Barry and Dick, who ask him things like “Top 5 records to play on a Monday morning”. Lists are fun to make, but we get the feeling that it might not be healthy for Rob. He has got lists like “Top 5 things I miss about Laura”, and “Top 5 all-time breakup list”, he remembers them so well, and goes over them with us throughout the movie, he remembers almost every detail. It seems he can’t move on from anything, he is living in the past, always bringing up his pain, it stops him from living.

Rob sees his employees as friends, but I get the feeling he also sees them as beneath him. When Barry; who is lively, rude, and sometimes insensitive, says he is in a band and has plans to be big one day, and Dick; who is shy, unassertive, and seems reclusive, says he has a date, Rob’s face shows that he feels like he has been left behind and is watching his friends and everyone else move on with their lives, while he is stuck where he is.

Throughout the movie, Rob is soliloquising to the audience, breaking the fourth wall. He tells us about his past, his current state of mind, his plans, his feelings, and his realisations. We see how Rob starts to change, he wants to get over all his ex’s, so he goes to visit them. He sees how some aren’t who he thought they were, and that it wasn’t worth holding on to them, but it seems Laura remains.

At the end, he starts to take chances and do things he was too afraid to do. He doesn’t want complacency, he wants to move on, he wants Laura back, and he wants to live his life, he wants to be with Laura and think more about his future, something he didn’t do before. He wants a future with Laura, he wants to think about their future and build something that will make him happy but make her happy too.

Rob’s change is slow and real, it shows us his struggles to figure out why he is unhappy, why his ex’s all left him, he tries to find out what he thinks is wrong with him, he is trying to be a better person, and slowly but surely, he’s becoming a better man.


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