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The Vault: High Fidelity (2000)

Top five lists, we're all guilty of making them, film enthusiasts more than others. Music, movies, break-ups: all are rich subjects for debate and reflection. We chose what we watch or listen to and who we make time to spend with. They reveal so much more about us than our hair and clothes, they define who we are and Rob is defined by his top five ex-girlfriends. Laura is about to join their ranks.

Rob (John Cusack) spends more flicking through albums on his living room floor than picking shirts out of his closet. He is the owner of a record store replete with two slackers with a taste for snide remarks toward customers. They were hired for three days a week, they show up for six. He is unhappy and not necessarily without cause. Laura (Iben Hjejle) is leaving Rob; he's in arrested development and she doesn't enjoy living life as an angst song on loop. Now he has to break himself down and stroll through the top five again, to see why he keeps getting left.

Through half-dates and refreshed memories Rob discovers that often he is what at fault, it was never meant to be and, "she's an idiot". Really Laura is the only one who ever meant a damn to him. The way she rubs her feet together when she sleeps, the little sounds she makes, how could he have been so damn stupid, he asks incredulously.

Rob very well may be Cusack's best performance. As a man contemplating where he has been and where he's going, Cusack connects on a level so personally with the audience it's hard not to feel his plight. We want him to find happiness, particularly with Laura.

High Fidelity doesn't choose sides in the battle of the sexes that occurs halfway through the film, but instead reminds us that relationships are a two-sided record. Both sides have to come together. And, yes, I promise, no more music references.

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