Available on VOD.
Written by Flora Greeson and directed by Nisha Ganatra The High Note stars Dakota Johnson as overworked PA to superstar singer Grace Davis (Tracee Ellis Ross), Maggie. Both have dreams and are frustrated by restraints on them, Maggie wants to he a producer, Grace wants to record new music rather than endless replaying of her greatest hits. Maggie then gets an opportunity when she meets singer/songwriter David (Kelvin Harrison jr.) and he gives her the chance to produce.
If the synopsis sounds familiar it will be no surprise that the film feels pretty familiar, following a handful of well trodden romcom paths. But, for me, that isn’t a criticism, those tropes are familiar because, when done well, people enjoy them and I thought The High Note made a decent effort at it.
The comedy was quite melancholic and the story telling never reduced it to farce or melodrama and was patient enough to let it develop and remain interesting. Occasionally, particularly with Grace’s story, it asks some interesting questions about career progression, opportunity limitation and the difficulties of overcoming it.
While it is a pretty standard romcom, it does it well and I found it rather enjoyable. Although it eventually wraps the story up in a pretty neat bow, it didn’t detract, performances are solid enough from Johnson, Ross and Harrison jr. With good support, especially from Ice Cube as Grace’s long time manager.
If you’re looking for a light, not overly “mushy”, subtle comedy, which asks some interesting questions, This may just hit the right (high) note.