High Fidelity Reviews
There were a couple of things that made the movie transcend the annoyance of the lead character for me. First and foremost was the breaking of the fourth wall throughout the film. I've always enjoyed that type of thing in movies, and it works great here. This allows us to get inside Rob's head and understand his behavior. It was great to hear him walk through a bunch of his Top 5 lists with us just like he did with his coworkers. The framework of the Top 5 Breakups was a superb way of building back-story and establishing his character.
The other thing that helped me enjoy High Fidelity was the structure of the story, particularly the way it ended. All my frustration with Rob's behavior was washed away when I saw there was a reason to a lot of this, and things could change (and he could grow.) It's hard to get into specifics without spoiling it all, but to put it simply...I liked that he had an arc. In fact, now that I'm aware of the way things are headed at the end, I bet I would enjoy the movie even more when I watch it again.
This is where I should probably mention that I'm not all that knowledgeable about music. While I like listening to it sometimes, and certainly enjoyed some of the music they play in High Fidelity, a lot of their conversations about bands flew right over my head. Since everything centers on a guy who works in a vintage record store, there's a lot of conversation about musical artists, their albums, and their songs. It even seems like there were some jokes about music, but I didn't follow it. I was thinking things like "Is it a well-known fact that song is terrible? I kind of like it."
Despite all my misgivings about things in High Fidelity, I still enjoyed it. The arc of the main character paid off for me, and had me smiling at the end. I loved the format with all the narration done through breaking the fourth wall. Its positives outweighed all the negatives that I found in it. And it was bolstered by a very strong cast, with the possible exception of Iben Hjejle who made for a very odd romantic lead. She wasn't bad, I just wasn't sure if I believed she had any feelings for Cusack. Otherwise the cast was great, and made a good movie even better.