In High Fidelity we follow Rob Gordon as he navigates his break up with Laura. It causes him to go on a journey of self-reflection and growth.
I like that he is revealed as sandwiched between a fictitious past and a fantasy future. Neither of which are realistic. In my mind, this leads to the natural conclusion that the reason he doesn’t feel that he is living “real” is that what he is measuring himself against isn’t real.
His journey into the past involves him calling old girlfriends and asking what went wrong. The scene where he realises Charlie Nicholson (Catherine Zeta Jones) is “awful” is really good. I expect we could all go back and find a past idol that would now look awful through our older wiser eyes. Its good to exorcise those fallacies.
His journey into the future involves him meeting a hot journalist, that interviews him for a magazine. He chats to her intimately on the bed before skulking off to make her a “compilation tape”. Eventually, he realises that all potential new relationships are fantasies. He cries out: when will it end?! He realises that the “new” relationship just presents fun and easy problems, while the long term relationship is hard and requires effort. He insights that he is tired because the fantasy never really… delivers.
In the end, he appears to resolve all of his issues and he and Laura end up happy ever after. There is a huge undercurrent of find the “one” and then work out your issues until you find a way to settle. Beware the ghosts of relationships past or future, which will never measure up to the present.
Basically, the movie sent me into a tail spin of guilt. Which is why I smelled a rat. The movie is about personal growth, but ultimately its about conformism to a social ideal. And if you cant conform there must be something wrong with you. Somehow I feel its the wrong message.