Explain High Fidelity's "Mix Tape" to me

Okay, not the concept of the mix tape: I get that, and with people whom I share musical tastes I often share them. And that’s sort of the point.

Why, in the movie High Fidelity, why did

spoiler space for OP

The protagonist’s girlfriend get all bent out of shape when he went ahead with the mix tape for his (I forget, one-night-stand? former g/f?) I’ve done the same for female friends of mine and their husbands…okay, I’m not sure what their husbands think, but why would they assume it’s trying to get in their pants? And even if it IS trying to form an emotional attachment, what’s wrong with being friends with a girl?

Or is there more to it than simple jealousy, maybe something that is explained in the book? And why does he suddenly stop and seem to agree with her that it’s something he shouldn’t do? I mean, I might not send a mix tape to a female friend if my girlfriend insisted, but I wouldn’t treat the decision as a major life-changing event :rolleyes:

IIRC, it’s the context. For Cusacks character (Rob?) creating a mix tape IS an expression of emotional attachment. His only way of expressing himself is basically putting together Top 5 lists.

Precisely. When Rob creates a mix tape for someone, it’s an intimate experience. Music is more than just something to listen to while he takes the train to work. It’s almost a fetish for him. Creating a mix tape for someone is a way for him to communicate his feelings via music. Didn’t he woo his girlfriend by way of a mix tape, too? She knows it means much more than just recording a bunch of songs for a friend.

Besides, he never made a tape for her (she said so towards the end, after she moves back in.) He does end up making a tape for her and giving it to her at the CD release party, IIRC.

And by the way, he was trying to get into the reporter’s pants, even if he didn’t fully admit it to himself.

I agree that it depends on the person’s intention. For some people, a mix tape is just a collection of songs. For others, it’s a window to the soul.

I happen to be the latter. When I was younger, I received a mix tape from a male friend whose pants I was hoping to see balled up on my floor, and I read WAY more into it than I should have. He placed no significance on the exchanging of mix tapes, but I did.

I saw a lot of myself in John Cusack’s character. My brother, frighteningly, was Jack Black’s character. The correct song for the correct mood, the bitchy “I know way more about music than everyone” attitude, the Cooosby sweatahhhh comment, etc. If I didn’t know any better, I’d swear Jack Black studied him for a couple of months for the role. Yeah, my bro’s a dick. What can I say?

But my brother is even more obsessive about mix tapes. Songs have to relate to each other somehow. For instance, they have to be from the same time period (ex. Spring of 1982) and he will even name the tape something like “Vomiting in the basement”, after an even that happened at that time.

He even had a relationship with a girl that was psychotically(?) obsessive about mix tapes. She was always making them for him and even went so far as to send him one 6 years after they broke up, even though they hadn’t spoken to each other at all.

What was it that happened when they got together. He was DJing, didn’t they hook up on the premise that he would make her a tape?

If any of my married or coupled male friends made me a mix tape I would *definitely * wonder what they were up to. I find that intimate too. Choosing the songs particularly for me? Nah, that’s not right.

I don’t have a copy of the movie handy, but I could have sworn that, in the book, Rob made a mix tape for Laura after he met her while he was deejaying.

I haven’t read the book, but the movie makes my Desert Island Top Five. He did make Laura the tape back when they first met, theres a shot of him handing it to her over the DJ deck. He doesn’t give her a tape at the CD release party, but the movie ends with him talking about making a tape for her, full of songs that would make HER happy.

I do agree that he was interested in the reporter, and that he was fully aware of his interest.

Also, in response to the OP, I woulnd’t say Laura got bent out of shape. she didn’t even make a fuss when he told her he was making it. She only brought it up later in response to his proposal.

Personally, I get both sides of the mix tape thing. I have made tapes simply to share music I like, and I have made them to communicate something I could bring myself to say. Any imporatnce the film places on the Mix tape is derived from Rob’s way of communicating and the fact that a mix tape figured prominently in the development of his relationship to Laura.

The mix tape intimacy thing is just too weird to me. I like music but I really don’t get how the order of a collection of songs which you have no personal connection to (as in, you didn’t write or record them, or even know the musicians) is supposed to elicit an emotional response. I mean, I like making tapes (well, actually CDs now), but I’ve had to stop myself from making mix tapes for other people because I don’t know what way they’ll take it, whether they’ll think I’m flirting or being a stalker or what, when usually, I just want to expose them to different music and in turn get exposed to different music by them. God, why do people have to make a big deal out of everything?

I always figured what he meant was that he had made tapes for her, but they weren’t really tapes for her. In other words, until the end of the movie, he was always too wrapped up in himself to see what Laura wanted.