History Main / HighFidelity

8th Apr '13 4:35:02 PM Xtifr
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''High Fidelity'' is a 1995 British novel by Nick Hornby (also known for ''AboutABoy''). It was adapted into a [[FilmOfTheBook 2000 film]] directed by Stephen Frears and starring John Cusack. It also served as the basis for a 2006 Broadway musical of the same name.

All incarnations follow Rob Fleming (Gordon in the film), a London (Chicago in the film) record store owner in his 30s whose girlfriend, Laura, has just left him. At the record shop, Championship Vinyl, Rob and his employees Dick and Barry spend their free moments discussing mix-tape aesthetics and constructing "top-five" lists of anything that demonstrates their knowledge of music, movies and pop culture.

Rob, recalling his five most memorable breakups, sets about getting in touch with the former girlfriends. Eventually, Rob's re-examination of his failed relationships and the death of Laura's father bring the two of them back together just as Rob revives his disc jockey career. Realizing that his fear of commitment being a result of his fear of death of those around him, and his tendency to act on emotion are responsible for his continuing desires to pursue new women, Rob makes a symbolic commitment to Laura.
----
!!Tropes associated with this work:
* AdaptationExpansion: The Kinky Wizards were not in the book (though Rob at one point muses upon the idea of starting a label).
* AdaptationNameChange: Marie [=LaSalle=] in the novel becomes Marie ''de''Salle in the film, probably for euphony more than anything else.
** The protagonist himself, Rob Fleming in the novel, was renamed Rob Gordon for the book.
*** Rob's exes Allison Ashworth and Jackie Allen were renamed as Allison Ashmore and Jackie Alden.
*** Barry's band name is also changed: both in the book and film, they are called Sonic Death Monkey, but in the book they start out as Barrytown (which Rob ridicules Barry for), something that is never mentioned in the film. At the night of the gig, Barry mentions the names Kathleen Turner Overdrive and Barry Jive and the Uptown Five in the film, and the names the Futuristics and Breakbeat in the book, for no apparent reason.
* AlliterativeName: Allison Ashworth and Laura Lydon.
* AsideGlance: In the movie, Rob talks to the audience frequently.
** This happened in the book, too in a sense; occasionally, Rob would take a moment to personally address the reader.
* TheCameo: BruceSpringsteen appears as an apparition to Rob in the movie.
* ComicalOverreacting: Barry does this a lot to opinions on music he disagrees with.
** He insults a customer repeatedly for "offending [him] with his terrible taste."
** He calls it "bullshit" when Dick says he prefers the Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels [[CoverVersion cover]] of "Little Latin Lupe Lu" to the original by the Righteous Brothers. When Rob defends Dick's opinion as a subjective preference, Barry calls the record store a fascist regime.
** He called Rob's top five track one side ones "pussy" for only including one relatively new song among a list of more well-known classics and asked how someone with no interest in music could run a record store.
* CulturalTranslation: The adaptation.
* DawsonCasting: Only the flashbacks where John Cusack plays the older teenage version of himself.
** In the flashbacks where, in the book, Rob was about thirteen, he was played by [[DrakeAndJosh Drake Bell]].
* FanHater: InUniverse, the protagonists treat people who enjoy music they don't like with disdain.
* GirlOfTheWeek
* GoodGirlsAvoidAbortion: Averted; [[spoiler: Laura]] gets an abortion, but it's handled very realistically and if anything makes her more, rather than less, sympathetic.
* AGoodNameForARockBand: Sonic Death Monkey, Barry Jive and the Uptown Five and Kathleen Turner Overdrive.
** Also Kinky Wizards (the band of the punks who shoplifted in Rob's shop earlier).
* HistoricalDomainCharacter: Though they never feature directly in the narrative, several RealLife musicians pop up in passing (Marie [=LaSalle=] slept with a famous American singer-songwriter whose name isn't specifically mentioned, the bands Suede, The Auteurs and Saint Étienne wanted to put up posters in the shop etc.).
* ImagineSpot
* IndulgentFantasySegue: A couple in a row, dealing with how Rob ''wants'' to deal with Ian. These culminate in [[spoiler:A NoHoldsBarredBeatdown where ''Dick'' throws the first punch and the fight ends with Ian's head crushed under a air conditioner window-unit]]
* ItsPopularNowItSucks: In-universe - this is the guys' standard; Barry calls Rob's picks for [[TopTenList Top Five "Track Ones/Side Ones"]] "very ''pussy''" for only including ''one'' semi-obscure MassiveAttack song. Barry's probably the worst of them in this regard.
* LargeHam: JackBlack as Barry. "'''A COSBY SWEATAHHH!'''"
* LondonTown: In the book.
* LoserProtagonist: Rob, though much more so in the movie.
* MakeUpOrBreakUp
* MinorFlawMajorBreakup: Mostly regarding disagreements of musical opinion. Taken one step further by Barry, who compiles a ''questionnaire'' about music, films etc. to present to women he's interested in going out with, to make sure they are suitably compatible beforehand. Naturally, none of the women in question take kindly to this.
* MoodWhiplash: In the space of a single sentence. "I go for a drink with Liz and she bitches about Ray the whole evening, which is great; and then Laura's dad dies, and everything changes."
* MuseAbuse
* NoFourthWall: Rob continuously addresses the camera in the film. This was the way that Stephen Frears and John Cusack decided to include the massive amounts of very important and integral narration of the book.
* NostalgicNarrator: Sometimes averted, sometimes played straight.
* PunctuatedForEmphasis: "WHAT ''FUCKING'' IAN GUY?!!"
* RaceLift: Marie in the film. What's particularly amusing is that Dick's description of what she looks like in the film is identical to his description in the book, except that he appends "Except, you know, black" to the end of it in the former case.
* RomanticComedy
* ShoutOut: ''Several'' when Rob, Dick, and Barry discuss music (since they work at a record store, this is rather frequent).
** The book is laden with music shout-outs from start to finish. It includes many of Rob's music-related top five lists, with titles like "Top Five ElvisCostello Songs," "Top Five Best Side One Track Ones," and "Top Five Floor-fillers at The Groucho."
* StealthPun: The title obviously refers to high fidelity sound systems. However, there is also 'infidelity' in the book, with Rob cheating on Laura. Also counts as FridgeBrilliance once you realise.
* TakeThatAudience: After listing the four worst things he'd done to Laura, Rob challenges the reader, before judging him, to list the worst things they've done to their partners:
-->Finished? OK, who's the arsehole now?
* TheFilmOfTheBook
* TheWindyCity: In [[TheFilmOfTheBook the movie]].
* [[TopTenList Top Five List]]
* UnreliableNarrator: Rob's memories of his exes are very skewed and biased, most especially in the case of Charlie. He eventually realizes this himself.
----

to:

''High Fidelity'' is a 1995 British novel by Nick Hornby (also known for ''AboutABoy''). It was adapted into a [[FilmOfTheBook 2000 film]] directed by Stephen Frears and starring John Cusack. It also served as the basis for a 2006 Broadway musical of the same name.

All incarnations follow Rob Fleming (Gordon in the film), a London (Chicago in the film) record store owner in his 30s whose girlfriend, Laura, has just left him. At the record shop, Championship Vinyl, Rob and his employees Dick and Barry spend their free moments discussing mix-tape aesthetics and constructing "top-five" lists of anything that demonstrates their knowledge of music, movies and pop culture.

Rob, recalling his five most memorable breakups, sets about getting in touch with the former girlfriends. Eventually, Rob's re-examination of his failed relationships and the death of Laura's father bring the two of them back together just as Rob revives his disc jockey career. Realizing that his fear of commitment being a result of his fear of death of those around him, and his tendency to act on emotion are responsible for his continuing desires to pursue new women, Rob makes a symbolic commitment to Laura.
----
!!Tropes associated with this work:
* AdaptationExpansion: The Kinky Wizards were not in the book (though Rob at one point muses upon the idea of starting a label).
* AdaptationNameChange: Marie [=LaSalle=] in the novel becomes Marie ''de''Salle in the film, probably for euphony more than anything else.
** The protagonist himself, Rob Fleming in the novel, was renamed Rob Gordon for the book.
*** Rob's exes Allison Ashworth and Jackie Allen were renamed as Allison Ashmore and Jackie Alden.
*** Barry's band name is also changed: both in the book and film, they are called Sonic Death Monkey, but in the book they start out as Barrytown (which Rob ridicules Barry for), something that is never mentioned in the film. At the night of the gig, Barry mentions the names Kathleen Turner Overdrive and Barry Jive and the Uptown Five in the film, and the names the Futuristics and Breakbeat in the book, for no apparent reason.
* AlliterativeName: Allison Ashworth and Laura Lydon.
* AsideGlance: In the movie, Rob talks to the audience frequently.
** This happened in the book, too in a sense; occasionally, Rob would take a moment to personally address the reader.
* TheCameo: BruceSpringsteen appears as an apparition to Rob in the movie.
* ComicalOverreacting: Barry does this a lot to opinions on music he disagrees with.
** He insults a customer repeatedly for "offending [him] with his terrible taste."
** He calls it "bullshit" when Dick says he prefers the Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels [[CoverVersion cover]] of "Little Latin Lupe Lu" to the original by the Righteous Brothers. When Rob defends Dick's opinion as a subjective preference, Barry calls the record store a fascist regime.
** He called Rob's top five track one side ones "pussy" for only including one relatively new song among a list of more well-known classics and asked how someone with no interest in music could run a record store.
* CulturalTranslation: The adaptation.
* DawsonCasting: Only the flashbacks where John Cusack plays the older teenage version of himself.
** In the flashbacks where, in the book, Rob was about thirteen, he was played by [[DrakeAndJosh Drake Bell]].
* FanHater: InUniverse, the protagonists treat people who enjoy music they don't like with disdain.
* GirlOfTheWeek
* GoodGirlsAvoidAbortion: Averted; [[spoiler: Laura]] gets an abortion, but it's handled very realistically and if anything makes her more, rather than less, sympathetic.
* AGoodNameForARockBand: Sonic Death Monkey, Barry Jive and the Uptown Five and Kathleen Turner Overdrive.
** Also Kinky Wizards (the band of the punks who shoplifted in Rob's shop earlier).
* HistoricalDomainCharacter: Though they never feature directly in the narrative, several RealLife musicians pop up in passing (Marie [=LaSalle=] slept with a famous American singer-songwriter whose name isn't specifically mentioned, the bands Suede, The Auteurs and Saint Étienne wanted to put up posters in the shop etc.).
* ImagineSpot
* IndulgentFantasySegue: A couple in a row, dealing with how Rob ''wants'' to deal with Ian. These culminate in [[spoiler:A NoHoldsBarredBeatdown where ''Dick'' throws the first punch and the fight ends with Ian's head crushed under a air conditioner window-unit]]
* ItsPopularNowItSucks: In-universe - this is the guys' standard; Barry calls Rob's picks for [[TopTenList Top Five "Track Ones/Side Ones"]] "very ''pussy''" for only including ''one'' semi-obscure MassiveAttack song. Barry's probably the worst of them in this regard.
* LargeHam: JackBlack as Barry. "'''A COSBY SWEATAHHH!'''"
* LondonTown: In the book.
* LoserProtagonist: Rob, though much more so in the movie.
* MakeUpOrBreakUp
* MinorFlawMajorBreakup: Mostly regarding disagreements of musical opinion. Taken one step further by Barry, who compiles a ''questionnaire'' about music, films etc. to present to women he's interested in going out with, to make sure they are suitably compatible beforehand. Naturally, none of the women in question take kindly to this.
* MoodWhiplash: In the space of a single sentence. "I go for a drink with Liz and she bitches about Ray the whole evening, which is great; and then Laura's dad dies, and everything changes."
* MuseAbuse
* NoFourthWall: Rob continuously addresses the camera in the film. This was the way that Stephen Frears and John Cusack decided to include the massive amounts of very important and integral narration of the book.
* NostalgicNarrator: Sometimes averted, sometimes played straight.
* PunctuatedForEmphasis: "WHAT ''FUCKING'' IAN GUY?!!"
* RaceLift: Marie in the film. What's particularly amusing is that Dick's description of what she looks like in the film is identical to his description in the book, except that he appends "Except, you know, black" to the end of it in the former case.
* RomanticComedy
* ShoutOut: ''Several'' when Rob, Dick, and Barry discuss music (since they work at a record store, this is rather frequent).
** The book is laden with music shout-outs from start to finish. It includes many of Rob's music-related top five lists, with titles like "Top Five ElvisCostello Songs," "Top Five Best Side One Track Ones," and "Top Five Floor-fillers at The Groucho."
* StealthPun: The title obviously refers to high fidelity sound systems. However, there is also 'infidelity' in the book, with Rob cheating on Laura. Also counts as FridgeBrilliance once you realise.
* TakeThatAudience: After listing the four worst things he'd done to Laura, Rob challenges the reader, before judging him, to list the worst things they've done to their partners:
-->Finished? OK, who's the arsehole now?
* TheFilmOfTheBook
* TheWindyCity: In [[TheFilmOfTheBook the movie]].
* [[TopTenList Top Five List]]
* UnreliableNarrator: Rob's memories of his exes are very skewed and biased, most especially in the case of Charlie. He eventually realizes this himself.
----
[[redirect:Literature/HighFidelity]]
15th Dec '12 12:43:37 PM StarSword
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* OneSceneWonder: Tim Robbins gets one or two scenes as Rob's pompous, arrogant hippie neighbour Ian, and steals every one.
21st Nov '12 5:42:36 AM Plactus
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Added DiffLines:

* TakeThatAudience: After listing the four worst things he'd done to Laura, Rob challenges the reader, before judging him, to list the worst things they've done to their partners:
-->Finished? OK, who's the arsehole now?
22nd Oct '12 9:40:58 AM kobbe
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Added DiffLines:

*** Barry's band name is also changed: both in the book and film, they are called Sonic Death Monkey, but in the book they start out as Barrytown (which Rob ridicules Barry for), something that is never mentioned in the film. At the night of the gig, Barry mentions the names Kathleen Turner Overdrive and Barry Jive and the Uptown Five in the film, and the names the Futuristics and Breakbeat in the book, for no apparent reason.
22nd Oct '12 9:35:42 AM kobbe
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Added DiffLines:

*** Rob's exes Allison Ashworth and Jackie Allen were renamed as Allison Ashmore and Jackie Alden.
31st Jul '12 2:09:45 PM MidnightMan
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** The protagonist himself, Rob Fleming in the novel, was renamed Rob Gordon for the book.



* FanHater: In universe, the protagonists treat people who enjoy music they don't like with disdain.

to:

* FanHater: In universe, InUniverse, the protagonists treat people who enjoy music they don't like with disdain.



* LargeHam: Jack Black as Barry. "'''A COSBY SWEATAHHH!'''"

to:

* LargeHam: Jack Black JackBlack as Barry. "'''A COSBY SWEATAHHH!'''"
21st Jun '12 1:07:34 AM slowriot
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** He calls it "bullshit" when Dick says he prefers the Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels [[CoverVersion cover]] of "Little Latin Lupe Lu" to the original by the Righteous Brothers. When Rob defends Dick's preference as a subjective preference, Barry calls the record store a fascist regime.

to:

** He calls it "bullshit" when Dick says he prefers the Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels [[CoverVersion cover]] of "Little Latin Lupe Lu" to the original by the Righteous Brothers. When Rob defends Dick's preference opinion as a subjective preference, Barry calls the record store a fascist regime.
21st Jun '12 1:07:03 AM slowriot
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** He insults a customer for "offending [him] with his terrible taste."

to:

** He insults a customer repeatedly for "offending [him] with his terrible taste."
21st Jun '12 1:06:38 AM slowriot
Is there an issue? Send a Message

Added DiffLines:

* ComicalOverreacting: Barry does this a lot to opinions on music he disagrees with.
** He insults a customer for "offending [him] with his terrible taste."
** He calls it "bullshit" when Dick says he prefers the Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels [[CoverVersion cover]] of "Little Latin Lupe Lu" to the original by the Righteous Brothers. When Rob defends Dick's preference as a subjective preference, Barry calls the record store a fascist regime.
** He called Rob's top five track one side ones "pussy" for only including one relatively new song among a list of more well-known classics and asked how someone with no interest in music could run a record store.


Added DiffLines:

* LargeHam: Jack Black as Barry. "'''A COSBY SWEATAHHH!'''"
19th Jun '12 9:20:56 PM mlsmithca
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* PunctuatedForEmphasis: "WHAT ''FUCKING'' IAN GUY?!!"



* ThisIsSparta: "WHAT ''FUCKING'' IAN GUY?!!"
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http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=Main.HighFidelity