COLUMN: What makes your favorite so personal?

Tyler McGinty, Opinions Editor

-It seems that every film buff has a movie that speaks personally to them. I’m one of these guys, and for me that movie is “High Fidelity.”

If someone tells me they don’t like that movie, or just hasn’t seen it, I get offended. I will have a long heated argument with someone, just because they don’t like my favorite movie.

It’s probably because I see so much of myself in the main character of “High Fidelity,” Rob Gordon. I’m neurotic, obsessive, I can’t let go of the past, and I love making lists. So if someone doesn’t like this movie, it’s like they’re saying they don’t like me.

My favorite movie is so personal, that I’ve integrated it into my self-image. I have no idea if this is something common, or if I’m a special case by taking it to this extreme.

But “High Fidelity” came out 11 years ago. Why hasn’t anything else hit me so personally? Have I become more cemented in my self-image, or is Hollywood just not producing anything that speaks on a personal level?

There have been plenty of movies that hit me emotionally. “The King’s Speech” last year really tugged on the heartstrings. But I couldn’t put myself in the shoes of a British monarch.

I certainly empathized with the difficulties he had, but it all seemed so larger-than-life. Even though it was based on a true story, it didn’t seem as real or personal than a fictional story about a record-store owner.

Last year’s movie lineup was full of fantastic movies, like “The King’s Speech,” “The Fighter” and “Black Swan,” and all of these movies hit all the emotional buttons. That’s just what good storytelling is. I’m not trying to put these movies down, but they just didn’t speak to me.

Granted, like I said, I’m not a monarch, a boxer or a ballerina. Maybe that’s why those movies don’t hit me personally.

I am however, a clerk at a comic book shop and gaming lounge. So I can relate to Rob’s plight as he deals with awkward customers and abusive employees. (One of my co-workers is Jack Black’s character come to life.)

But “High Fidelity” was my favorite before I was a clerk. I was just a high-school student who liked lists.  So maybe it’s just the story-telling format.

I’d love for more down-to-earth stories about a regular guy facing some fairly normal problems. The slice-of-life genre shouldn’t be just for autobiographical comics, novels or films. It’s a wonderful untapped resource for purely fictional stories.

Maybe if more films were made like this, there would finally be something else to dethrone “High Fidelity” from its throne of my personal favorite. I can’t imagine that ever happening, though. Ever since I saw it, “High Fidelity” has been my favorite. I’ve made jokes about reorganizing collections autobiographically, made lists of my top five all-time track one, side ones and even named my column after a “High Fidelity” reference.

That’s what a favorite movie is. It’s something that’s going to be part of your life forever, and as much as you want to see a movie like it, you’ll never see it disappear from your life.

At least, that’s what a favorite is to me.