the high note review

Too many female-led comedies focus on the romance of it all. The chick flick, the rom-com – they’re terms that are interchangeable. But there is so much more depth of emotion that women feel, so many more nuanced relationships that women have, that are rarely show on the big screen. Only a handful of so-called “rom-coms” dig into them, but they’re often mislabeled because it’s less about the romance, or even the comedy, then it is about the women at the center of them.

One of the more recent films to nail the complexity of female relationships was Nisha Ganatra‘s 2019 dramedy Late Night, which followed Emma Thompson and Mindy Kaling as a reluctant late-night show employer and employee pairing who become close friends. Ganatra seeks to repeat this formula with The High Note, a flashy comedy/drama that stars Tracee Ellis Ross and Dakota Johnson in those roles, but now set in the glamorous music industry. But with newcomer Flora Greeson on the script and none of Kaling’s winking humor to drive the drama, Ganatra’s attempt to recapture the success of her previous female-led workplace dramedy unfortunately falls a bit flat.

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the high note song

Tracee Ellis Ross comes from Supremes lineage, but the actress has worked hard to set herself apart from her music superstar mother, Diana Ross. But she’ll be channeling a little of her mother with the upcoming workplace dramedy The High Note, directed by Late Night filmmaker Nisha Ganatra. In The High Note, Ross plays legendary pop diva Grace Davis, who yearns to do more than Vegas residencies and performances of her greatest hits. With the help of ambitious assistant Maggie (Dakota Johnson), she decides to record a new album. Focus Features has released one of the songs performed by Ross’ fictional diva in The High Note, in which she channels a little of the real-life diva she’s related to.

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the high note release

Producers, studios, and filmmakers are all holding out hope that most movie theaters will be back up and running again soon. But as that continues to seem less and less likely, some distributors are making the decision to forgo the theatrical experience entirely and head right to VOD. The latest movie to take this approach is The High Note, a comedy starring Dakota Johnson and Tracee Ellis Ross. The movie was originally aiming for a May 8 theatrical release, but will now premiere at home on demand at the end of the month.

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the high note trailer

The workplace romantic dramedy is underrated. We all know about the death and resurrection of the romantic-comedy, but fewer eulogies have been written for the slow death of the workplace dramedy (Working Girl, etc.) and the slow resurgence of them in films like Nancy Meyers’ underrated The Intern and Nisha Ganatra‘s surprisingly good Late Night. So it’s fitting that Nisha Ganatra will be coming out with another workplace dramedy, the upcoming Focus Features film High Note, that now tackles the glamorous world of the LA music scene, and the intriguing dynamic of an aging pop superstar played by Tracee Ellis Ross and her loyal assistant played by Dakota Johnson. Watch the High Note trailer below.

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