Cinematic Releases: The High Note (2020) - Reviewed

dakota johnson

In an unsure time, many theatrical releases are being sidelined and pushed to the streaming format. With all theaters, big and small, closed across the U.S. for the most part and drive-ins seeing a mild resurgence for indie horror titles, tons of new movies are finding themselves in the online market for rental. Sadly for the entire industry, their hard work is being released but will never get the full cinematic treatment. 

The High Note starring Dakota Johnson is one of those movies. And honestly,this one properly belongs there, among the dregs of some of the most corny and creatively vacant movies of the year. Centered on a woman that works as an assistant for one of the world's biggest female singers, even Dakota's talents can't save a film that really does qualify as something that should have premiered on Lifetime as a feel good movie of the week. There's just nothing to latch on to here other than a couple moments of joy and pain that feel altogether forced for mediocrity's sake. And weirdly enough, even the charismatic talents of Ice Cube can't save this thing. 

Sitting back as a music fan and someone that knows how the recording industry works, The High Note is a bumbled mess that really doesn't understand how to get its plot across without becoming a chore. It's boring. The music is uninspiring. The live performances are unrealistic. And the script is plotted by  writer, Flora Gleeson, who only has one other IMDB credit to her name. Yeah, everyone needs to start somewhere. But this was not the time or the place. Unfortunately, this base line tale has been done so many times, most viewers will immediately feel the repetition as it continues plodding on. 

dakota johnson

Yes, Dakota carries the weight of the soap opera drama with her lovely spirit and talents. However, (there's always a however), this movie is just a simple retread of dozens of "chick flick" tropes that have been played out time and time again. There is nothing surprising or out of the ordinary about this story. A young woman wants to become a music producer at the behest of the worldwide star's management, falls in love, drama starts, and everything turns out okay. We've seen this movie before. And flipping the script to the world of music just doesn't work when there's no realism involved. 

As a huge fan of Johnson's work in numerous other movies including last year's The Peanut Butter Falcon, this one is a flop for her otherwise creatively ambitious choices as an actor. I go into everything hoping for some enjoyment or something to entertain me at some level. The High Note expedites the cheese factor to the highest degree as it expounds on an industry the people involved have no idea of. Damn it.