The High Note (2020)

As COVID-restrictions are being reduced, movie theatres are opening up again in Belgium. And since earlier this year, I got a few movie tickets for my birthday, I decided to go! There aren’t too many new movies playing currently, I think half of the rooms are actually playing old movies or movies that were released one to two years ago. One of the few new releases was: The High Note, with Dakota Johnson and Tracee Ellis Ross in the lead roles.

The High Note

The Plot

The plot of “The High Note” is actually pretty basic: it revolves around a young, plucky assistant to a famous singer who wants to become a music producer. So young Maggie has been working as the personal assistant of famous R&B singer Grace Davis. She tries to get involved as a music producer with Grace but her team doesn’t think she’s ready for it. Grace, on her side, is struggling with being a black woman over 40 trying to keep her career going and not just retire to Las Vegas and only do greatest hits. Then Maggie meets a young, handsome guy with a great voice and decides to become his producer, juggling both jobs – with not the best results. And that’s where I’ll stop explaining the plot, the rest is for you to discover!

A little big of background

The screenplay for “The High Note” dates from 2018, but it wasn’t until February 2019 that a director was attached to the project. In May 2019, the main actors were cast right before principal photography began in Los Angeles. It wasn’t until February 2020 that the actual title was chosen, as it was known as “Covers” before. The theatrical release was scheduled for early May but cancelled due to the Corona crisis. The movie’s soundtrack was released in May 2020 and at the end of that month, the movie came out in select theaters and through video on demand.

What surprised me

  • I was actually not that into the original movie music. I love movies that are all about music, which have been a real staple in the last few years. But those movies usually feature songs and artists you know and love (the Beatles, Elton John, Queen, Abba…), while this was new music. Don’t get me wrong, the songs are beautiful and really fit wel into the story. But I just wasn’t too excited about it and didn’t feel compelled to listen to the music afterwards.
  • I sooooo saw the biggest movie twist coming. My friends don’t like going to the movies with me because I tend to talk during the movie and that usually includes me predicting what will happen next. During the build-up to the big twist, I actually told my friend twice what I thought would happen, and then it did happen. Sorry Sofie!
  • It was easy to get into “The High Note” storylines for me, and I was surprised by Dakota’s acting. Not because I don’t think she’s a good actress, but I had only seen her in “Fifty Shades” before. She’s plays a lovable, relatable character here – so that helps!
  • I think “The High Note” is a great watch for during these Covid-times when we’re all stuck at home. It’s a feel-good, go-for-your-dreams movie that plays out in the music industry with some great actors at the helm.


Not sure if the movie is for you or not? Check out the official trailer here!

And if you want to see more, or want to rewatch the music from “The High Note”, be sure to check out these clips:

Happy watching,

Loes M.

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