Sunday, February 23, 2014

Overlooked Film of the Week- "High Fidelity" (2000)

Overlooked Film of the Week-#45

High Fidelity
If you would have told me when I was around 10 or 11 that I'd be writing a blog about movies, I probably wouldn't be surprised, but I'd be a little bit puzzled. Movies have been a passion of mine for so long that I never really noticed it until I was older. As I was growing up, I had a passion for music, especially rock music. I remember when I younger, I could spend a whole day in my room listening to the radio. When the weather was nice (or even if it wasn't) I used to take my CD player outside in a pouch and swing on my swing-set for countless hours. Its amazing how some clever poetry and electric guitars can muster emotions as powerful as Disney movie I have ever seen, but it is possible. Which is one of the many reasons why we connect to films and music on a wide scale.

I feel like that is why "High Fidelity" hit me so hard the first time I saw it and continues to do so as I re-watch it over the years. Back in 2000, when "High Fidelity" was released, it focused on things I was just beginning to focus on in a dramatic-comedic way. It's story revolves around music and girls, which was my life in a nutshell in 2000. I loved music and I loved chasing girls, and of course I took it all way to seriously. Of course, when I look back on it, I laugh at just how serious I took that stuff, and my friends. I think that's why I always identified with John Cusack's Rob Gordon. Gordon is a hopeless romantic who knows more about music, film and other popular culture. "Books, records, films-these things matter. Call me shallow, but its the fucking truth." I love that quote, and from the moment Gordon says that to the camera, I knew I'd watch "High Fidelity" more than once. Cusack gives the performance of his career in this movie and he also created one of the coolest movie characters of all time.

As the film starts, we watch as another girl walks out on Gordon. This is standard operating procedure for Gordon at this point, and the whole movie focuses on Gordon and the five break-ups that hurt him the most, he tracks down these five women and hopefully find out where he constantly goes wrong in relationships. We also see Gordon's work life at Championship Vinyl and meet his two co-workers Dick (Todd Louisio) and Barry (Jack Black). The movie has a fun style as Gordon narrates the story for us, treating the audience as a friend who just happened to show up in Gordon's life as it began to fall apart. Its all very fun though, and it just part of the reason the film works so well.

There are great actors who populate this story and they all are very talented. If you're a Jack Black hater, sit down and watch "High Fidelity," if you're NOT a Jack Black hater, sit down and watch "High Fidelity." Easily one of Black's best performances, Barry is a guy who loves his job, knows too much about his job, and is always in a decent mood. Black makes us feel all of it and sells all of it perfectly. Black also gets some of the film's funniest material and he nails it. The cast also features work by Joan Cusack, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Lisa Bonet, Lili Taylor, Iben Hejejle and Tim Robbins. That's a stellar cast, all putting forth great work, no matter how big or small their appearance is. Its a great showcase of talent and the cast really brings this story to life.

So far on this blog, I have championed films that feature a little of everything. I'd be lying if "High Fidelity" didn't have a little of everything. There is comedy, there is well-balanced romance, there is drama, there are small spurts of action, the only thing the movie needed was an exorcism and a flying saucer flying by. With a clever style, great cast and rocking tunes, there is a lot to like and connect to with "High Fidelity."  I hope you all check this one out if you have not already.

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