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The High Note is a movie starring Dakota Johnson, Tracee Ellis Ross, and Kelvin Harrison Jr.. A superstar singer and her overworked personal assistant are presented with a choice that could alter the course of their respective...
  • 6.4 /10.0 IMDB Rating:
  • DatePublished:
  • 2018-11-22 Added:
  • Flora Greeson, Writer:
  • Wanuri Kahiu, Director:
  • Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Producer:


5 / 10

"HIGH NOTE" is a highly predictable ?? cut film, but it seems that was their intention

5/10 ??????????Don't get me wrong this film does have a few moments and a few chuckles spread out between 2 hours of viewing but that's about it. The plot sorta feels like this is the role Tracee has been itching to play her whole life, A chance to imitate her mom Diana. But I don't feel this role contributed to her acting career one bit. She's known for being hilarious but this role didn't cater to that strength or atleast the writing was dull.. There isn't any difficult choreography or performance scenes that would require any training. The drama is almost non-existent nothing that draws any real reflection or a teary eye and this is a Rom-Com where the romance is really kept to the bare minimum, Unless your counting the love (??) for music which kinda was the only mainstay throughout it's entirety. Dakota Johnson does her best and of course Cube was a good addition but after decades of the same peel and paste romantic comedies one after another it feels like if your forced to eat the same meal for a whole year the sight of it makes you cringe no matter how good. The film however throws a hailmary and provides a small twist at the end which is totally non-believable but I guess when writing the script it was projected to be a winner but in my opinion they run out of time and it's the tale of 2 little 2 late. The film is OK ?? but I wouldn't put it on my list for recommendations. If you miss this one your not missing much.

6 / 10

spawn of a diva

Greetings again from the darkness. Who better to play an aging diva at the crossroads of a hugely successful singing career than the daughter of Diana Ross? Of course, nothing is ever that easy and if Tracee Ellis Ross wasn't ultra-talented herself, the film wouldn't work at all. Now, please understand, director Nisha Ganatra's follow up to last year's LATE NIGHT is excessively formulaic and predictable, but it's a pleasure to watch Tracee Ellis Ross ("Black-ish") as singer Grace Davis and to hear her sing for (I believe) the first time on screen.

The film is from the first (and previous Black List) screenplay by Flora Greeson, a former personal assistant in the music industry, and it follows Maggie (Dakota Johnson, "Fifty Shades" franchise) as Grace Davis' hard-working assistant. While spending most of her time running errands in her Chevy Nova for her celebrity boss, Maggie dreams of becoming a music producer. See, she studied music composition in college and listened to the radio growing up ... and she bobs her head when listening to music she likes. So obviously she's "qualified." Maggie is as ambitious as she is lacking in self-confidence and experience.

The aforementioned crossroads Grace is facing has to do with choosing whether to record her first new album in a decade, or taking the safe and financially secure route of accepting a long-term Las Vegas residency. Her agent, Jack Robertson, is played by Ice Cube in full tough-guy mode, as he pushes Grace to bank the cash. Although her career is stuck in recycle gear with live albums and greatest hits, Grace longs to record new music, though she also understands the realities of the music business (and explicitly states the history for anyone not following along - including Maggie).

Maggie oversteps her position with Grace by urging her to write and record new songs. Maggie re-mixes some of Grace's music and butts heads with the hotshot producer (played by Diplo) Jack brings in to turn Grace's hits into thumping dance beats. "Is that dope or is that dope? Trick question, it's dope!" (Diplo nailing the punchline). June Diane Raphael adds her comic flair as Gail, the career moocher who lives in Grace's pool house, and offers up advice to Maggie on how to milk the situation.

All it takes is a chance encounter at the local market for Maggie to have a career opportunity fall in her lap. She meets charming and smooth David Cliff (Kelvin Harrison Jr, WAVES), and after some classic music banter, she hears him sing and is convinced she can produce his music. The only problem ... she lies to him about her profession and experience. Lying and misrepresentation may have played a key role in the music profession over the years, but it creates a real mess for Maggie and David.

When things go sideways for Maggie in every aspect of her life, she retreats to the security of her dad's (Bill Pullman) humble home/studio on Catalina Island. He's a DJ and the one who taught Maggie her love for music. His home also leads to the reconciliation that allows the film to move towards the ending it was meant to have. It should also be noted that Zoe Chao and Eddie Izzard have brief roles as Maggie's roommate and a veteran pop singer, respectively ... both talented performers underutilized here.

The film has a similar structure to THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA minus the biting dialogue and insightful commentary on a high profile industry. It briefly touches on ageism, sexism, and nepotism, as well as the 'money vs art' question, but the purpose here is entertainment, not enlightenment. True artists have an incessant need to create, often risking a comfortable position to stretch themselves ... showing the iconic Capitol Records building a few times, and contrasting Maggie's Nova with Grace's Bugatti, doesn't quite make the philosophical statement that we'd expect for a deeper message. Instead, it's a feel good movie. It's comfort food, and it's delivered with a crisp bow on top. Expect a romantic fantasy, where the love partner is music, and enjoy the talents of Tracee Ellis Ross. And let's hope they got clearance from Michael B Jordan for his mention.

7 / 10

A beautiful entertaining film about fulfilling your dreams.

* There is no end credit scene *

The director Nisha Ganatra and crew brought a beautiful entertaining film about fulfilling your dreams. The story is about a famous singer's career, an aspiring singer and a personal assistant's dream of becoming a music producer. What a great beginning full of soul and no matter what preference of music one listens to, the rhythm will be felt. The movie could have been perfect if it wasn't for the romance part, and I don't mind a romantic film but it strays away from what the movie was about. The chain of events caused by the romance would have worked perfectly if it was a friendship since a relationship was needed due to the importance of what many artists cope with. Aside from forcing a romance, this movie was still powerful in projecting the struggles of deciding what you want and what society wants for you.

The composer Amie Doherty captured the conflict of reaching your dreams with her music. Also, the songs chosen for this movie was so uplifting, it's a movie to watch in a high volume to feel the outstanding boom.

The cast was perfect, performances to keep wanting more. Ice Cube is a natural in this kind of role and Kelvin Harrison Jr. was the one whom I was annoyed with but not because of his acting skills which were great, it was the romance part. Dakota Johnson! My gosh, the way she listens to music is like she is really feeling it and craves to make it better. She was amazing portraying the character who wants to be a music producer. Tracee Ellis Ross debut single was so beautiful and what a voice! Even though she has the name which makes some turn heads, she was still her own person and her performance was natural and real.

10 / 10

A breath of fresh air

I loved this movie! The talent was amazing! It was nice for once to have a movie not about murder! It was a perfect feel good Friday night!

9 / 10

Thoroughly Enjoyable

Great cast, great story, Tracee Ellis Ross has a powerful voice especially in a duet with Kelvin Harrison Jr. He and Dakota Johnson have nice chemistry and give insight into the world of music producers and talent. Dakota and Ross characters both dealing with breaking away from other people's plans for them. Nice fashion, cars, ponytails. Light hearted, no violence, not preachy. Film industry needs to make more of these feel good films. Especially now.