Film Friday: High Fidelity

It starts with a man yelling out to his ex-girlfriend "If you really wanted to mess me up, you should've gotten to me earlier!" and then compiling a top five list of the worst break-ups of his life.  It doesn't end with a passionate kiss in the rain, or a wedding, or anything like that. 

And it's second only to Bladerunner on my list of awesomest movies ever.  High praise, indeed. 

The movie is High Fidelity, and if you haven't seen it, well, you're a little behind the times.  I mean, it came out in the late nineteen nineties!  You know, that time period where so many great movies were made, but no one watched them because they were too busy watching Titanic

Trust me, High Fidelity is a much better movie, even if it lacks that guy hitting the propeller while he falls.  Come on.  You know the scene I'm talking about - don't pretend you don't. 

So, in the movie, we've got Rob, played by the always brillian John Cusack.  He gets dumped by his longtime girlfriend Laura, wonders why he is always abandoned by the women he loves, and starts analyzing his life.  He chases down the top five breakups of his past (Rob's obsessed with "top five" lists - he works in a record store, and spends most of his day composing these lists).  And then he tries to deal with his losing Laura.

It's a brilliant picture, in a very understated sort of way.  It is filled with great musical name drops, and for a borderline Asperger's guy such as yours truly, this is pure awesome.  It's brilliantly acted, it's brilliantly filmed, and the dialogue is just, um... brilliant.

I bring this up because, every time I go through a break up, this is the movie I watch.  I have no idea why - it's not a particularly happy movie, or a particularly sad one.  It's just a movie about a guy I share a lot of similarities and character traits (some would say defects - but those people are communists who listen to Abba) who tries to figure out where he went wrong.   And I like that.

If you watch it, make sure you get the deleted scenes.  There's this great bit where Rob is offered the greatest record collection of all time, with so many collector's wet dream rarities.  He knows it's worth at least a hundred grand, and is trying to buy it for a couple of thousand dollars - the woman who is selling it knows exactly what it is worth, and wants to sell it for fifty bucks.  She wants to get even with her cheating ex-husband.  Rob, even though he knows the guy is a douche, can't do this to another collector, and there's this great reverse bargaining scene that always makes me crack a smile.

And of course, there's John Cusack's best monologue in movie history.  Seriously.  This even beats that part where he holds the boombox over his head.  Apparently, though, it doesn't compare to a guy hitting a frickin' propeller.

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