Friday, May 29, 2020

The High Note - Movie Review

The Movie: The High Note

The Director: Nisha Ganatra

The Cast: Dakota Johnson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Kelvin Harrison Jr., Ice Cube, Bill Pullman, Zoe Chao

The Story: A superstar singer and her overworked personal assistant are presented with a choice that could alter the course of their respective careers.

The Review:
This movie definitely falls into the feel good, musical comedy category and it should be a great fit for people wanting a bit of fun escapism after a long day. The story is kind of by be the book with a few twists and turns thrown in. There's one major twist towards the end that I totally didn't see coming although I probably should have. Production wise, the whole thing is very glossy with an emphasis on making the characters look as good as possible at all times. The music is fun and there's a lot of variety between the different characters although you will notice a very heavy and intentional Sam Cooke vibe throughout.

Dakota Johnson and Tracee Ellis Ross share the screen for most of the movie with the latter being an aging, Whitney Houston style pop singer and the former being her assistant and aspiring producer. The duo are often at odds although one of the things they commonly agree on and bond over is how rude Ice Cube can be as the long time agent which makes for some fun back and forth verbal sparring between all parties. One thing I thought to be very interesting is how the ladies are clearly the stars of the show and get the most in depth story telling where as Cube's character is very one dimensional and is really just sort of there which I'm thinking was an intentional gender reversal and that's totally okay. Women have been generic side characters, love interests, and eye candy forever so a bit of turnabout is fair play, as they say.

Kelvin Harrison Jr. enters into the mix as a potential love interest for Johnson's character as well as a musical inspiration for her dreams of being a producer. They do have good chemistry on screen and they get to share some really great moments. Overall,  Dakota Johnson really stole the show as she not only held her own against everyone else in the movie, I felt like she was really the focal point from start to finish. That being said, Tracee Ellis Ross is total queen status in this movie and fits the bill perfectly as a mega star personality. Dang, I haven't even mentioned that Bill Pullman is in the movie and he's really good to in a relatively small role. Oh and one more. Zoe Chao is on board n a best friend role that she has got down pat and I hope she will be able to expand to bigger roles in the near future.

The Verdict:
The High Note plays it safe and hits a lot of middle notes while never really hitting any lows. The ending has a very happy, feel good vibe so you'll most likely be satisfied with it. Dakota Johnson and Tracee Ellis Ross bring it on home with a soundtrack that will have you twistin' the night away. You can watch the movie now on all those fancy on demand services.

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