I'm a huge fan of used CD and record stores, and the people at most of them know me by name. The record store in Stephen Frears' "High Fidelity", an old used and new Vinyl shop that also sells a few tapes and CD's, is the most accurate and perfect depiction of a used store that I have ever seen on film. I love these shops because every so often I find a rare treasure, like the Magnolia soundtrack, or Run Lola Run on DVD, or some odd film score I once loved.This is a film that has the feeling of that down, but it's not just about a record store. "High Fidelity" is a brilliant, honest and almost sad film about a man who learns to better himself through his past love life. It works even better because of John Cusack, one of film's most energetic and tireless actors, as this man named Rob.
Rob is your everyday man. He owns a record store and has two co-workers with him that "[he] hired for three days a week and they just started showing up every day; that was four years ago". He just broke up with his girlfriend (Iben Hjelie) and decides to lament, to us the viewers, about his breakups, doing so in the "Top 5 Breakups" format.
As much as I cared for Rob and how I wanted to hug this guy in the hopes he would get better, the life of this film just captivates. Those people buying the wrong records for their children. The record store owner who is also a DJ. The lonely bars. And Jack Black's character, as every rude employee, a know it all that just wants to get under your skin, is so amazing here. I've really met people like this.I've left a lot out intentionally, since "High Fidelity" is truly an astonishing film, one of the year's best, and you should really see it for yourself. The fact that a film that can be romantic yet real, and also show all the characters realistically yet funny, is really something to admire, in a time when films aren't even trying to do so.