Starring: John Cusack, Joan Cusack, Sara Gilbert, Jack Black ...
Length: 124 minutes
“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 into love, and falling out of it.
His story – or his interpretation of events in his life, is about a hero who feels consistently rejected in love, and is, therefore, in retreat. 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; he learns that his yearning for a different ending with a few of the “top 5”
actually would not have suited him; he learns that the stories he is telling himself about Laura are distorted. In the rewriting of his story, Rob finds that his present-day
hero no longer needs to be in retreat. Watch the movie to see how his transformed story opens his heart and leads his hero to victory.
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?