top of page
  • Writer's pictureKate Monroe

High Fidelity

Director: Steven Frears

Starring: John Cusack, Joan Cusack, Sara Gilbert, Jack Black ...

Length: 124 minutes

Rated: R

Studio: Touchstone Video

“High Fidelity” is a film about love and the stories we tell ourselves about it. Rob Gordon (John Cusack), the thirty-ish owner of a Chicago record store, is caught in a story about love – falling in love and falling out of it. His story – or his interpretation of events in his life, is archetypal…the rejected, obsessive lover. His hero is defeated. He feels consistently rejected in love. As the film begins, we learn he is serious about a lawyer named Laura, and he is devastated when she breaks up with him. This event is the icing on the cake for his personal story, and it drives him to explain his story of rejection to the camera. The viewer takes a journey with Rob that is often comical, silly, poignant, and eventually, redeeming.

Rob is a list-maker, having had lots of practice categorizing and organizing music and records. He has other lists, too, including a list of the “top 5 most memorable split-ups” - to which he adds Laura’s name. The movie examines Rob’s story about himself as rejected lover by flashing back to vignettes about the “top 5 most memorable split-ups.” Over the course of the flashbacks, Rob does some growing up. And his story changes. He learns that he was not always the one being rejected! The obsessive lover archetype falls in love with the idea of love, not necessarily the reality. So in his soul-mining, he learns that his yearning for

a different ending with a few of the “top 5” actually would not have suited him. Eventually he is able to see that the stories he is telling himself about Laura are illusory and distorted. In the rewriting of his story, Rob finds that his present-day hero no longer needs to be in retreat or defeat. Watch the movie to see how his transformed story opens his heart and leads his hero to


Questions For Reflection:

We are all caught in stories in one way or another. It is worth examining which stories serve us (keep our hero/heroine in forward motion), and which ones keep us blocked (our hero/heroine in retreat). Creating new interpretations of the stories that block us, or keep us stuck, can be a very freeing action.

 How is your hero/heroine caught in a story?

 How does your story limit you?

 What new interpretations of your story could open more possibilities for you?

0 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page