The High Note is a “comedy-drama” that will be released this Friday on VOD. It stars Dakota Johnson, Tracee Ellis Ross, as well as Kelvin Harrison Jr.
The film centres around Maggie Sherwood (Johnson). She is the assistant to the most popular singer in the world, Grace Davis (Ross). She adores working for her childhood idol but yearns for something more. As the film opens we learn she wants desperately to be a music producer, in particular, she wants to be Grace’s producer so she can help her release her long overdue and long sought after new album.
Along the way, Maggie meets David (Harrison Jr.) a charming yet struggling singer who plays at grocery stores and bar mitzvah’s who weirdly has a Hollywood penthouse apartment that would make Bruce Wayne blush. She sees in him a chance to raise true talent along with raising her own profile.
There are however many obstacles in the way for young Miss Sherwood. The overbearing manager of Grace Jack Robertson (Cube), her own crippling insecurities and worst of all a trashy and unimpressive story filled with unlikable characters and no actual comedy to speak of.
A bum note
The High Note is easily the worst film I have seen this year. I can’t put it any better than that but I will definitely expand on this brief thought.
Within the first fifteen minutes, you know where these characters are going to end up. The plot is so paper-thin that when everything is revealed and there are revelations you feel a sense of insincerity instead of surprise. The plot is all over the place. It never seems to take any kind of shape.
I felt as though the film should have focused on Maggie trying to help rekindle Grace’s spirit for music and the trials they faced. Or it could have followed Maggie and David as they try and make it together. Instead, the film flits in and out of both possible stories and never lands an impactful note with either.
Another major problem for me was the cast of characters. A large portion of the characters, incidental or supporting are vapid as hell. There are flashes of personality in the film with Tracee Ellis Ross’ Grace Davis having some nice banter with Maggie, but it’s not enough especially when she is usually joined by her manager and her hanger-on.
Ice Cube and Gail (June Diane Raphael aka Gail the hanger-on) are the two uninspired and unlikeable characters. Ice Cube has two characters traits, 1. He is annoying and 2. He messes up words. Then there is Gail, she is a real piece of work. There is nothing here. She is clearly supposed to be the comedy relief but to succeed at that goal she has to be funny.
Is there a high note?
Looking back now I have to commend you for reading this far. There is nothing enjoyable about The High Note.
I will, however, state one element within the film that was somewhat enjoyable. Tracee Ellis Ross is a decent singer.
Check it out if you’re so inclined and stay tuned to Scannain for more reviews, news, and interviews.