By Michael Hernandez
The High Note stars Tracee Ellis Ross as Grace Davis, a highly successful singer who is now over 40 and being pushed into a corner and forced to accept a very generous deal to be a music producer, she finds the courage to record fresh tracks rather than repeat the same process she’s been following for the past 10 years.
Ice Cube is great in the movie as Grace’s manager. He wants Grace to stack that paper while she still has the ability to perform and tuck away a nice nest egg for himself as well. But Grace gets her inspiration from her personal assistant of the past three years, Maggie, who is perfectly played by Dakota Johnson from the 50 Shades series. She has the perfect smoldering sexuality to play the character without being too over-the-top with her sexuality.
Ellis is also very giving in the movie, giving Dakota her own storyline about her relationship between her and her aspiring talent. Jealousy causes a real riff in the movie when Grace discovers Maggie is working with another talent, even if it is on her own time. There’s a surprise ending and it gives the movie a really nice and feel-good ending. I won’t spoil it for you.
Finally, Ellis’s singing is stellar in The High Note. You forget from watching the popular TV show Black-ish that her mother is Diana Ross. Looks like her mom gave her a lesson or two. The movie has a run time of 1 hour and 53 minutes and it’s rated PG-13. On my “Hollywood Popcorn Scale,” I rate the movie a JUMBO!