Review: In The Heights


In the neighborhood of Washington Heights in Manhattan, Usnavi (Anthony Ramos) owns a bodega but dreams of going back to his native Dominican Republic. He pines for Vanessa (Melissa Barrera) who has big dreams of becoming a fashion designer. Meanwhile his friend Nina (Leslie Grace) has just returned home from her first semester of college and realizes the location might not be for her. 

I didn't get to see this on the big screen like I originally wanted to, but even watching this at home on HBO Max it felt larger than life. The musical numbers were fantastic. They were so colorful and full of energy, I couldn't take my eyes off them. 

Anthony Ramos is an absolute star. I hope he can carry momentum all the way until awards season because he deserves it. He's so energetic and talented. Everyone involved in this had wonderful singing voices. I loved seeing Corey Hawkins, who plays Usnavi's friend (and Nina's love interest) Benny. I was first introduced to him on The Walking Dead, where he was severely underused, so I love seeing him thriving in better works.

For as much as the musical numbers work, I wasn't in love with the story over all at times. It had some pacing issues. I felt the B story (Benny and Nina) was more interesting than Usnavi and Vanessa. I think Vanessa drew the short stick in terms of development, which brings it down slightly. 

Even thought the script may not be perfect, this is a great film for summer and I'm sure I'll be listening to this soundtrack often for the rest of the year.

Recommended: Yes

Grade: B+

Memorable Quote: "Let me listen to my block." - Nina (Leslie Grace)

Comments

  1. yeah, i wasn't a huge fan of leslie's portrayal of vanessa either, but i don't think it was enough to hamper the delightful film

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    Replies
    1. It definitely doesn't bring it down, but it's a bit glaring at times.

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  2. This comes out on Friday in the UK and I'm trying so hard to not give in and watch the VoD version! It's probably the movie I've been most looking forward to all year. Really glad you liked it despite it's issues!

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  3. It is likely I'll wait for it on HBO as I'm not in a rush to see it as it's more likely my sister will take my mother to see the film.

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    Replies
    1. I think I would've gone to see it regardless of HBO Max, but it's the only reason my husband watched it. He wouldn't have gone to the theaters for it.

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  4. I think we're right in line on this one. Too long, and weak storylines, but man is it fun!

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