A Music Producer is Born.
Tracee Ellis Ross has gained some recognition for her roles on television show like “Girlfriends” and “Black-ish,” and even the Tyler Perry movie “Daddy’s Little Girls.” But more importantly, she is the daughter of Diana Ross. I’ve never watched her shows, and I’m not too familiar with her, but it is really exhilarating to know she is the daughter of one of Motown’s best singers.
I’ve also managed to come across her lead role of music sensation Grace Davis in “The High Note,” which is yet another movie to find its way on various streaming sites, because of the COVID-19M crisis. It’s a familiar but good-natured movie with a somewhat “Star is Born” spark, and some fresh performances from Ross, Dakota Johnson, Kelvin Harrison Jr, and Ice Cube.
Davis is a splice of many famous singers, like Diana Ross, Cher, Aretha Franklin, Beyonce Knowles, and Alicia Keys, as far as I’m concerned. She’s middle-aged, and she’s expects more out of herself, if she is a famed diva.
We also meet her overworked and under-appreciated personal assistant Margaret (Johnson), who wants what’s best for Davis, especially since she has been a fan of her work since childhood. But her hardheaded boss (Cube) rebuffs every suggestion she has for her.
She could be up for the producer position, if only she can handle the responsibilities and commitments. So, she becomes a friend to Davis, and a girlfriend to a young singer named David Cliff (Harrison Jr.), who often performs in front of grocery stores. Margaret see sparks in these two, and manages to overcome their cynicisms.
It lags in various sections of the movie, like parties, some recordings, and premieres, which is why I can’t give it a full 4-star rating. But “The High Note” wins you over with its love for musicians from all generations, and the actors who ease into their characters sentimentally and valuably.
Johnson is losing her “Fifty Shades” poison, by portraying a woman who wants to expand her horizons and sees the best in her singer friends. Ross lives up to her mother’s name with her tone, consistency, and spirit. Harrison Jr, a fine young actor, has a great singing voice, and his connection with Johnson is passionate. And Cube offers his tough attitude as the main record boss.
The movie was directed by Nisha Ganatra, who also made last year’s comedy “Late Night.” It wasn’t the financial hit it should have been, but it was still an entertaining one about the behind the scenes of television. “The High Note” is a clean entry about the music entry, and a personal assistant kicking it up a notch with her career.
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