Didn’t quite hit the note

Cockburn Gazette - - FILM - Lucy Ruther­ford

MAG­GIE (Dakota John­son) is a per­sonal as­sis­tant at the beck and call of one of the big­gest mu­sic stars in the world, Grace Davis (Tracee El­lis Ross).

She is good at what she does, but what she re­ally wants to be is a mu­sic pro­ducer.

With man­ager Jack (Ice Cube) pre­vent­ing Mag­gie from con­vinc­ing Grace to hire her as such, she turns her at­ten­tions to as­pir­ing mu­si­cian David (Kelvin Har­ri­son Jr) af­ter see­ing him per­form out­side a gro­cery store.

Ne­glect­ing to tell him she is not tech­ni­cally a pro­fes­sional, she per­suades him to be her first client, but it is not long be­fore jug­gling two jobs be­gins to take its toll.

The High Note is a film of sump­tu­ous lo­ca­tions, en­vi­able clothes, amus­ing jokes and low stakes.

John­son’s trade­mark chilled vibes, quirky hu­mour and fringe are used to full ef­fect, yet be­cause of this she fails to por­tray any real pas­sion and drive for her sup­posed life­long dream.

El­lis Ross, daugh­ter of Diana Ross, gives won­der­ful nu­ance to the char­ac­ter of spoilt celebrity, and the film touches on the sex­ism, racism and ageism of be­ing a black wo­man over 40 in the mu­sic in­dus­try.

It is a shame a bland ro­mance be­tween Mag­gie and David side­lines the plot from th­ese as­pects.

But for pure en­ter­tain­ment, The High Note is a pleas­ant es­cape into sum­mery the shiny world of wealth and fame.

Pic­ture: Glen WIl­son

Tracee El­lis Ross as Grace Davis.

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