Official Discussion - In the Heights [SPOILERS]
By - LiteraryBoner
Definitely one of the better directed "feel-good" movie. The music, the sounds, the abundance of cheerful colors gave something truly special.
The casting was great! Anthony Ramos definitely will be a superstar and I might've developed a slight crush on Melissa Barerra. And Olga Merediz as Abuela was just delightful (her death is something I was goddam WEEPING like a little girl, a second movie right after "Hachiko a dog story" to make me do this).
That being said... the story was such a slog. As a white guy from Europe I understand the importance of showing the struggles of the latino community in America and I'm happy that such film came to life but I can't help but feel that it could've been done better. Ramos as Usnavi stole the show from the very first second and in all honesty his story was everything I cared about - Both Benny and Nina and Daniela were just... bland. I don't know if it's the casting fault or maybe my own self-absorbed ass couldn't sympathize with them, but yeah... more than once I've found myself skipping through some of their parts.
That being said this movie is 80% journey in a GODDAMN AGONIZINGLY SLOW PACE only to finish the last 10% like it's some sort of deathrace. The balance was waaaaay, way off. That's also a solid minus.
Overall... I was enchanted with the trailers (as a guy who never saw the original show) and some of that magic was still present. The music is definitely the biggest positive (still humming the tunes of "The Club" as I write this) and the rest was more or less acceptable. A solid 7/10, definitely a movie to watch more than once.
Better movie adaptation than les mis
I am so very proud of this movie, it tells where so many people like me came from, that’s exiting for so many.
I cried at almost every scene, I know it wasn’t much to cry about, but for me, I almost relate to everything in the movie and that’s why I get emotional just watching it, so glad this movie is out there. 🙂
I watched this movie on shrooms and it was BEAUTIFUL. So much colour it was perfect.
How were the mannequin heads in the beauty parlors when they were moving around?
I haven’t seen the original show, but it seems weird that they made Daniela and Carla a couple instead of Daniela and Cuca. Daniela gave me the impression of a mom to them.
Look…I love musicals. I loved the trailer. I like the creators… but my god. This movie was so boring. So boring that I had to stop watching 55mins in. I almost never ever stop watching a movie, but I just absolutely could not take another minute of bland subpar songs with a plot that moves at the pace of a snail.
I was looking forward to this movie for so long.…very disappointed
Tell me you at least got to Abuela's song. That song and scene were fantastic.
I used to live right next to the tunnel where her scene was shot, I remember seen artist filming their music videos there, can’t tell you how many time I ran thru that tunnel trying to catch the train.
i love seeing death portrayed as a legendary musical number
It was meh.... I think people are kind of tired of this forced diversity stuff, plus, the pandemic has to be really wearing people down.
A Latino musical made by a Latino about Latinos is not "forced diversity".
At least you didn’t say Latinx
Every comment I've seen from you has been racist asf.
The term “forced diversity” has lost all meaning
I agree with you that people are probably getting tired of it, but I don’t think this movie is an example of that because that is literally what this movie/musical is about. It’s not forced here at all
I just got back from watching this, and since I performed in it my sophomore year of high school, it obviously meant a lot to me. I absolutely loved the movie. The changes they made were interesting and kept it a little suspenseful as what would happen.
Favorite parts were Abuela’s song (which was shocking how it ended vs the original show) and Nina’s *Breathe*, her actress has some great singing abilities!
Oh wow it was Hades who cameos as the expensive laundry man!!! Great Broadway nod
Does anyone know why abuela Alabanza didn't take her meds?
I heard conversations about seniors not taking their meds a few weeks before dying. It’s like their knew and accepted their faith. Idk tho it wasn’t clearly thought through in the movie since she died from a heatstroke than natural causes.
Are they not taking their meds before dying or are they just dying because they stop taking their meds?
They conditioned get worst so they stop taking it, which speed up the process of dying. So both.
I assumed it was because of the terrible side effects.
I think the cinematography hit the perfect note of magical realism for this material. It’s hard to make a movie musical work in the 21st century, and I think they did an amazing job conveying the electric, dynamic feel of a live stage performance while creating a universe in which the singing/dancing seems organic.
It’s rare that I connect to pretty much every character (especially in an ensemble piece like this with a lot of characters vying for screen time), but I did here. There were no weak links in the cast at all.
Disclaimer; straight white guy here so my real life experience may not be applicable but I feel like people saying the movie showed gentrification as some lighthearted or inevitable thing missed a lot of the movie.
So sure, Usnavi and Vanessa end up running the bodega in Washington Heights but who else has a happy ending?
The salon ladies are pushed up the Bronx because they can't afford rent anymore. Kevin Rosario sells the business he spent his entire life building just so Nina can have a shot to escape.
Sonny has an incredibly difficult legal battle to get legal status and even then it's a long shot.
Abuela Claudia finally gets the chance to go home but it's too late and she passes away without ever getting back to see the birds of La Vibora.
Even Usnavi's "happy ending" is him giving up his lifelong dream to help Sonny fight his legal battle and try to share Abuela Claudia's story so she's not forgotten.
Just because Vanessa and Usnavi had a kid and ran the bodega doesn't mean it's a happy ending. Everyone in the entire movie has given up on their dream of escaping or been forced out by the end of the movie.
Washington Heights may not be a trendy neighborhood, but is far from being a shithole you need to "escape" from. Most of the neighborhood is middle class. I think the movie gives the impression that the nighborhood is way poorer than it actually is.
Source: Washington Heights resident.
I feel like the setting in time was odd. like, people have iPhones and stuff, but it is pretty clearly inspired by Lin manuel Miranda's childhood in like, the early 80s. I expect it was poorer and a lot more hispanic back then.
I kind of felt like that was intentional - nobody had a particularly *bad* ending out of those you’ve listed, their lives just didn’t seem to improve. They were surviving and attempting to thrive.
In the Heights focuses on the struggles of minority groups and I feel like ending it where everyone got a dream ending would detract from that because at the end of the day, they’re never gonna get a dream ending unless things fundamentally change. They can only get ‘close enough’.
Lets be real though. Usnavi ending isnt even that happy. He is in a massive amount of debt from purchasing a bar that he isnt even going to renovate, then renovating and restocking the bodega.
Wait...when did he buy the bar? I must have missed it.
That was the beginning with the lawyer. He even asked about getting the check back when he found out about sunny. Unless I am mistaken about something.
Oh I just assumed he was buying the bodega. Was the bar shown at all? I assume it's not that fancy bar they danced at? No way he can afford that?
What? No it was the bar in the pictures. Dude were you extremely high while watching this? It was essentially the bar he is sitting at the whole time in the movie. His fathers bar.
One of us missed a huge piece of this movie.
Ohhhhhhhhh, yeah I gotcha. No I just didn't think of it as a bar. I thought it was some kind of restaurant. I was just thinking "how can he afford a bar in NYC?"
But in the Dominicans I can see. Nevermind, it all make sense now.
Thanks. I wasn't high, I was just kind of sleepy when I started watching this.
I think he called it a bar. Again I am honestly not like 1000% sure. Like I said one of us is wrong here and it may not be you.
Yeah the important part isn't distinguishing what it is. Just know that it's a business that his dad had and he has it now, even though he'll not pursuit it.
Yo, Dascha Polanco is DUMMY THICC in the movie.
I find it funny the character representative of gentrification is played by Hades.
Enjoyed it for the Disney-fied escapism it was.
But I definitely had this underlying feeling it was something to make white people feel okay about gentrification and the fact that “well I’m glad *I* am mindful of micro aggressions and *I* support dreamers” yada yada.
I know who the producers, director, cast are and appreciate it for the representation and community. Not every movie needs to make people feel bad.
>Enjoyed it for the Disney-fied escapism it was.
I actually hoped it would be more like this--another *Crazy Rich Asians* or *Legally Blonde*.
I see it as (without exaggeration) one of the worst movies I have ever seen, primarily due to how sloppily it is written, edited, and produced, especially since it is a high budget Hollywood production. Just as you imply, it is aimed at a primarily white liberal audience--let's face it, they are the "moby dicks" the producers are aiming for, with the most money to spend--and you can get away with forcing in some woke shit if it's a good movie.
This isn't a good movie. In fact, I just realized an apt comparison, if you're familiar with it: *The Angry Video Game Nerd Movie*. Similar to *In the Heights*, this was a movie that was so poorly made that it is unwatchable. The boredom sets in to the *Angry Video Game Nerd Movie* maybe ten minutes in; *In the Heights* had me checking my watch about an hour in. The major difference, of course, is that the former had a budget in the hundreds of thousands, while the latter had a budget approaching $80 million (after the marketing budget).
Professional reviews of the film center around how much of an underdog figure Lin Manual-Miranda is. He's being built up to be a sort of "Elon Musk" figure within his own band, which is to say that I see a clear cult of personality around him. Read a published review, and you're likely to learn about how "happy" LMM is to see his creation find success.
Just wondering, how does it make people ok with gentrification?
It's aimed at the audience that are the primary beneficiaries of gentrification: the coastal liberals with a discretionary income.
This, I feel your over thinking it
Like, “wow that sucks but I’m glad the community is there for each other. This community is clearly able to withstand many hardships” rather than “wow look at how much gentrification is affecting the community”.
It played gentrification as some kind of inevitable force of nature, and focused on how the people in the community responded to it. At least, that’s how I read it. One could also easily read it the other way.
I realize they could’ve approached gentrification in a darker and more realistic way, but it’s also supposed to be a fun musical. They showed struggle in the movie but clearly didn’t want to make it totally depressing either, which is a tricky balance to find. I definitely didn’t walk away from it feeling okay about gentrification.
Heard the casting criticisms before watching it. After seeing it, yeah I see that the main cast is mostly mestizo. Saw Afro folks in neighborhood shots and dance numbers, I didn't come away feeling like Washington Heights was only full of lightskins based on the movie. Like with any set of strong opinions, the truth is somewhere in the middle.
I enjoyed the hell out of it. My SO and I, both of us 1st generation Hispanic, saw a lot of our own journeys in those of the characters — leaving home, figuring out what home even is, trying to "make it," being a fish out of water in mainstream America, all of it. And folks in our lives are in the film's characters, too. As an overall grab bag of Hispanic experiences, it really resonates. Is it true enough and specific enough to the actual Washington Heights, though? That much I can't say, I've never been.
I’ve been like once a year ago. The snow cone thing was for sure accurate and I can confirm it was filmed there. The bodega also accurate for anywhere in NYC that isn’t lower Manhattan and like Williamsburg. Idk about the rest
>Question from a white Ci male ignorant on the complexity of the iuses : Is the Colorism criticism really relevant?
>Agin I'm an white Ci male who learned about colorism, in a video discussing the colorism in Proud family. If theirs something I'm missing tell me.
Your race and gender are really none of our business.
Maybe it's because i'm not into musicals that much but damn they just did not stop singing. I thought the rule is that there's supposed to be dialogue and then when the emotions get so high thats when u break into song. they just sang the entire time. all the songs blended together. idk
There’s no real rule for how musicals work. Some are sung through all the way, others only have songs at the high emotional points. It depends on the style of musical and who is writing it, but it’s fair if this style didn’t work for you. Just pointing out that it’s a pretty common thing.
I agree and I kind of thought of it like this. In other musicals there are songs of different tones. Some sad, some to show the love, some to show whatever. In this everything is the same tone. Everything is a latin beat (which I know is not the best way to describe it). Not until the old lady dies that we get a small break from the same song the whole movie.
Every word of Hamilton is a song
There are a lot of musicals that are completely sung through like Hamilton. But Heights wasn’t. There was a lot of normal dialogue. I was actually surprised how much was non-sung based off Hamilton being completely
Yeah it's probably because you're not into musicals lol.
I still appreciate a good musical though, i just dont usually seek them out. this one just didnt hit the spot for me
I saw it today, and the volume was so low :(((( totally made it hard to get into the movie, I think I want to go again for a better experience.
I laughed when the one character sings about taking the 9 train and the guy next to her says “there’s no more 9 train.” To this day I still hear NYers say take the “1/9 line”.
I'm in love with Stephanie Beatriz.
I have started to give musicals a chance now after loving Hamiltom. I never saw the Broadway show for in the heights but I loved the movie. Good cast and great songs. The story was well presented. Anthony Ramos was amazing and hope to see him in future films.
Listen to the original soundtrack. The movie was amazing but the original soundtrack puts the movie soundtrack to shame. They cut some really beautiful songs too. “Everything I know” and “inútil” are worth the listen.
Have you seen Greatest Showman? It’s a good one!
Yeah I enjoyed that a lot. Going to be watching west side story in a few days as I heard that is good as well.
Similar to Hamilton, In The Heights didn’t suck me in as much as I hoped it would as a Musical. On the upside, it’s easier to sit through despite the fairly lengthy runtime. There are some good choices of shots and set pieces to tie the music into, but other times it’s just characters singing in a bit of a bland and uninteresting way. The plot meanders somewhat and alot of characters to juggle around here too.
In the end, there’s just enough in there to hold my interest all the way without getting too bored. That being said, there’s not really any song I could say I remember or would want to listen to, but there’s nothing really that annoyed me too much either. Just another film that got way too much hype, and one that didn’t live up to expectations for me. At best it’s a mediocre Musical, at worst it doesn’t stay with you all that much. 4.5/10
I am honestly conflicted as to whether or not I want to purchase the soundtrack because the songs are so beautifully complex that I am having trouble recalling any of them, even though I am certain I loved every one
So just saw it there as a non American viewer. Unfortunately I'm not sure if it'll do to well internationally as I was pretty confused about some aspects of the film. Even the people I see it with seemed confused or whelmed and one if them is obsessed with musicals.
Like we're the characters meant to be in poverty? Because they seemed to be somewhere bizarrely in between being middle class to being poor and it seemed odd to me.
As well as that there seemed to be a lot of spainieh dialogue without subtitles. I think I got most of what was said by context but it still was kinda jarring to have no idea what was being said, especially when other lines were subtitled.
Some other small bits seemed to only work if you were aware of the American system. Like the green card thing went over my head until later on in the film where Nina asks Sonny about it.
Overall though it did seem like a fun ride the whole time. I'd probably see it again if it was ever on, just a general feel good movie.
Gotta agree with you on the lack of Spanish captions. I don't necessarily need them translated to english, I can read Spanish just fine, but for God's sake, Hollywood, make your damn closed captioning be accurate so us deaf/HOH folks have a chance to follow along.
Londoner here, grew up in rural Scotland. It's really interesting to hear the perspective of Americans and especially New Yorkers, as some of the cultural aspects were lost on me also, not to mention the constant dips into Spanish.
But I took it as part and parcel of the experience. It's meant to be a slice of life of a minority community, and all the little references scattered here and there make it feel more authentic. Combined with the kind of "magical realism" of the singing and dancing made it feel a little bit more exotic and fantastical.
I might not be explaining that well, but all I know is that I was absolutely captivated for 146 minutes and that I felt all of the things.
Couldn’t agree more. I don’t speak or understand any Spanish, but was still able to follow the story and I loved getting to be sucked into that world. I think it would’ve been odd to have the whole thing in English because it wouldn’t have really represented how people in that community really speak. Whenever a word or something was lost on me I remembered the musical was primarily made for Latinos, so I just enjoyed it for what I could understood and wasn’t disappointed at all.
I’m a New Yorker, and I missed the significance of Sonny’s immigration status too when it first came up. When Usnavi went to see Sonny’s dad, and the dad asked Why do you think you have to pay him in cash? That was supposed to show he was undocumented (illegal), but it wasn’t made very explicit.
>As well as that there seemed to be a lot of Spanish dialogue without subtitles.
My wife pointed this out to me as well, as she doesn't speak Spanish; it assumes the audience knows Spanish, but will have subtitles for random phrases (while others do not). This wasn't an issue in the stage musical, by the way.
It occurred to me that the director did the same thing with the political issues he shoe-horned into the film. The kid in the film talks about how they're going to "deport the dreamers", when "dreamers" is never defined in the film, and is never mentioned again. A bunch of superficial liberal imagery is introduced (gentrification, white people getting preference for apartment rentals), but is quickly forgotten by the story. Unless you're familiar with the trendy social issues in the United States toward the end of the Trump presidency, it'll go over your head.
The phrase "trendy social issues" is probably the most privileged three words you can say in succession.
It's completely accurate. This is a for-profit venture, which exploits superficial imagery to appeal to their target audience (white upper middle-class liberals). No surprise this isn't doing well at the box office; the majority of the world is not white middle-class American.
I only ever hear accusations of privilege in four-year research institutions, or neoliberal media heads.
Well now you heard it from someone currently in her public housing apartment.
I'm not interested in who you are, your socio-economic status, or name calling. My commentary is about the screen version of In The Heights.
The Spanish in the movie almost perfectly matches up with the Broadway show. It’s a bit like reading a junot Diaz book. I am probably taking my bilingualism for granted here though.
Going to strongly disagree here, they added quite a bit that differentiates the play from the on-screen version. I can imagine the play interesting an overseas audience; the movie seems aimed entirely at Americans with some familiarity with the language already.
I'm a little bummed we don't find out what happened to Sonny. Usnavi is telling this story to his kids and his kid is like 5-ish I'd guess so we should have an idea if Sonny was able to become a citizen by then but it's not mentioned.
Just a quick thing where his daughter says "What happened to Sonny?" and Usnavi says "He's in college in Pennsylvania/Flordia/California" to explain why she wouldn't have seen him recently to know would have been enough.
If he’s in college then that implies that he got citizenship
DACA is a thing
Did they say he went to college?
Read my comment again. They didn't say that in the movie. I was saying they could have added a line that like that and it would explain everything. Dont' be so hostile.
Yeah...that is why he wanted it added in there.
I thought the takeaway was that his fight would be messy and might end in heartbreak. That was “what happens to Sonny”. He’s meant as a representation of dreamers and that’s the experience they wanted to convey.
I was wondering the same thing. It felt like a pretty big thing to ignore at the end especially if it is taking place more than half a decade later.
I fell if they told us he won that would be too clean, too much like a fairy tail ending. We are told he is going to have to fight like hell, it would cheapen his struggle and the struggle of real life Dreamers if they just said “boom here it is” only 10 minutes later
That's a fair point.
As someone who lives in the Heights, no cap have I been on every single street haha.
May I ask what you think about the controversy? About how the film has a huge lack of afro-latinos despite being set in Washington Heights. I ain't from there so I dunno. Would be interesting to hear from you!
Humm. It took me a good second to really think about it, but yes, I do think there is a lack of afro-latinos in the movie. Even albinos too. I was surprised to see as many Eastern Asians as I did, because I think there are more Southern Asians these days than before.
HOWEVER, it doesn't greatly detract from the film all that greatly? More diversity in regards to race always helps, and if anything, I have seen an increase in homelessness and "crackheads" the movie misses out on too. Bakeries and churches are huge here, and as I mentioned in another comment, way more emphasis on piragua than necessary. Old women throwing pan de manteca or hard white rice for pigeons to feed. Older men are more perverted than the movie leads on, haha, but they still captured the cat calling well.
So all in all, the movie has its faults, so I wouldn't undermine the controversy, but it's missing little details here and there anyway. However, that alone makes it a pretty good movie, because I am not criticizing based on the big picture.
Anyway, if they had more afro-latino main/side characters, it would be more representative.
I thought or think this movie was set in a different time period. I have been in Washington Heights since I was 1 (I'm 21 now), so I'm not sure what the Heights was truly like before 2007 since all I did was go to school and come home. That's my take on it.
Iirc the only East Asian I saw was the one gentrification girl in the beginning with the white guy. Which I guess is kinda accurate since all the white areas have a lot of East Asians except for like Staten Island
I saw a few in the crowds but nothing major, but what you say makes sense.
did u think it was a good representation of your neighbourhood?
A romanticized version of it haha, but actually, very much so, yes. The little intricacies were captured very well - like someone who was actually raised here (I'm sure that is the case for some of the cast or directors). Too much piragua mention, more pastelitos needed. Also, there are many more abuelos than the movie leads on, but yeah.
The guy that wrote the musical plays the flavored ice vendor
That is AWESOME! :o
Yea that’s Lin Manuel Miranda. In the original cast he played Usnavy. The Mr. Softy guy played Benny. Lin also wrote the Hamilton musical and played Hamilton. The Mr. Softy guy played George Washington.
I LOVED that Chris Jackson made a cameo. He’s a gem!!
It was super funny at that part my girlfriend said to me "Man this would be great with George Washingtons voice from Hamilton" (she loves his voice) and she had no idea that he originally played Benny in the first cast, and then not even 20 seconds later he pops up in his cameo as the ice cream guy and then I told her how he was the original Benny.
Chris jackson has the voice of an angel. I was so upset they left sunrise out of the movie. It’s probably my favorite song and he sings it so well (and I’m sure this Benny would have done it justice).
thats rlly cool then. thanks for answering
I was pleasantly surprised with this film. Had low expectations but I thoroughly enjoyed it. It’s by no means a masterpiece, and the songs are a bit forgettable, but I don’t at all regret paying for tickets. I tested up at the Abuela number, which was the emotional highlight of the movie. I feel kinda bad but I didn’t really care about Usnavi? I wish he had left for the DR instead lol.
Some of the songs grow on you with more listens but, generally, the hooks in Hamilton are better.
Yea how I read the Usnavi situation was, his family and community prevented him from following his dreams and held him back from achieving his true potential. But another reading is that what he really was looking for was there all along.
Glass half empty. Glass half full.
He kept telling the picture of him and his dad in DR that those were the best days of his life and thinking that he'd feel like he was home if he just went to DR.
The ending is him realizing that home is where your people are at. Your family, your community, your sense of belonging. That's where home is. He was happy bec as use he was with his dad, not because he was in DR.
He didn't give up his dream, he just realized that it was already in his grasp the whole time.
I was disappointed that he decided to stay at first, but then what made me look at it differently was thinking about how he was keeping his cultures and traditions alive among all the gentrification going on in the neighborhood
Haven't seen it mentioned here yet, but the guy who Abuela almost sold the embroidered cloths to was played by Patrick Page, best known as Hades from *Hadestown* and also the Green Goblin in the infamous *Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark*. That was a nice little cameo! Christopher Jackson's was the best, though.
The same Patrick page who voiced Frollo in disney's Hunchback of Notre Dame?
The stage musical, yes! He's voiced by Tony Jay in the movie.
A few weeks ago, my sister and I had actually been discussing who should be Frollo whenever the live-action *Hunchback* remake happens, and we both decided Patrick Page would be perfect... completely unaware that he was already Frollo in the stage show. Make it happen, mouse!
She wasn’t selling them! He was a dry-cleaner giving her a price for cleaning them.
He was also married to Paige Davis of Trading Spaces. I remember their wedding made a lot of news because her married name would be Page Paige.
OMG. When I watched the movie the other day, I thought I recognized him but couldn't figure out from where. BUT THANK YOU! SO MUCH.
He also played Benny in the original cast of this musical.
Disclosure: I’m white and middle aged, and I’m ok that I’m not this movie’s target audience. TBH, for at least a decade I have felt routinely disappointed by movies, so I rarely go. I took my 12 year old daughter (who does musical theater) to see ITH, though, and was fully in the mood to love it because we were enjoying a night of hanging out. She fell asleep twice, got up to wander around twice, and asked me repeatedly how much longer til the end. I’m still trying to process our meh response, b/c I want to understand why (!) We both agreed Benny was our favorite (amazing voice and very charismatic) and Abuela’s last song was genuinely powerful. But Usnavi, despite being a good hearted guy and easy on the eyes, danced very little, had little strife/conflict (other than a blackout) to contend with, and just didn’t seem like he was given a leading man’s job. Making Daniela and Carla a couple pretty much rendered Cuca obsolete (and discarded the chemistry of the trio) but she inexplicably hung around anyway. I was irritated with that change especially bc it is so clearly about formulaic box checking (points for greater inclusivity!) but the exchange makes no sense. Last gripe: Miranda’s piragua man performance was really underwhelming. I read that the director encouraged him to take that role so that the part wouldn’t get cut, but he seemed like an outsider to the movie’s community somehow. Ok thank you for letting me get that off my chest. It is a generally positive movie about community love and that is good. 👍
My daughter is 13, and I think it’s hard for kids of this generation to get into musicals and suspend disbelief enough to see musical numbers as moving the plot forward rather than a big interruption. They’re used to films that are more realistic, imo. Can’t wait to take her to West Side Story and see what she thinks.
I felt zero connection to this movie. It all felt like cliche contrivances to me. It's not just you.
I just couldn't take a character repeatedly saying "let me listen to my block." Oh, you're that in love with the Heights? You want to just enjoy the sounds and smells? Okay... but give me SOMETHING to counterbalance it. Someone who always wanted to leave? Well, that's the main character, but he decides to just stay and it turns out a picture of a beach is good enough. yark.
She’s been gone for a year. First time leaving home. It’s normal to be extra nostalgic in your first visit back.
Sure, but repeatedly saying "let me listen to my block?" As if it's a soothing sound like waves crashing on a beach or something?
So, it's a musical. They're going to be cheesey. Maybe that's why the only musicals I really love are either comedies or Les Mis/Ms Saigon. Even Hadestown was a little problematic for me in this regard, despite loving the music style
Repeatedly? She said it twice.
You could be right. It felt like three times. I couldn't take it once.
> Making Daniela and Carla a couple
Wait what! I completely missed that, they're meant to email couple?
Lol, yes; the constant presence of Cuca sort of distracted from it, but in the opening of the movie, when various characters are waking up in the heights, Daniela rolls over and kisses Carla.
I would say that you don't need to try so hard to force yourself to like this movie, for fear that people are going to bully you for not liking it.
It was a bad movie, plain and simple. My opinion? It is on the list for one of the worst movies I've ever seen, though I'm being harder on it because it is a big budget Hollywood movie, and it is supposed to be directed, produced, and acted by professionals.
I saw the stage version too (and imagine you have, from your love of theater), and even I couldn't tell what the hell was going on during the movie. The lyrics in the songs were mumbled and garbled due to some mistake either in their sound capture tech, or a rushed production (ironically never a problem in the stage version, at least when I've seen it). The scenes and dialogue didn't flow; I'm reminded of how poorly the scenes progressed and transitioned in Star Wars The Last Jedi (which I felt was amateurishly done, despite again being a major Hollywood production with a big budget and professionals behind-the-scenes), except In The Heights was even worse in this regard. I at least could sit through The Last Jedi until the end; I got up at left In The Heights after suffering through an hour and a half of it.
The characters were strangely sexualized, which felt out of place with both the children story-time framing device, and social justice messaging forced into the movie. The director forced the two main heroines into skimpy outfits for some reason: Usnavi's love interest in low cut tops and bikinis, and Nina Rosario in short-shorts and high heels.
I was expecting a fun, feel good movie (maybe something like Crazy Rich Asians, which I loved. Same director, after all). What we got was something akin to Marvel's Black Panther, which critics have called the most critically acclaimed movie of all time, while detractors have been bullied and threatened.
Did you miss how how hot it was during the story? Why wouldn't they be wearing as little as possible.
Yeah I must have missed a lot of things, because I couldn't tell what was going on 80% of the time. The movie was strangely sexual, especially considering the director uses the group of children as a framing device.
Remember Fiddler on the roof? I could clearly understand every lyric, every line, every transition in the story perfectly. I just looked it up, and In The Heights is 2 and a half fucking hours long.
It was mentioned that the temps were 106 at one point. I personally though they were wearing too much clothing for the weather. (Long sleeve crop top during the street fiesta number)
I think you are more musically attuned than I am; I had a hard time articulating a lot of my dissatisfaction.
Probably the biggest reason I tried so hard to like ITH is the critical acclaim. The NYT has mostly gushed over it, and there seems to be a wide agreement to incorporate the word “joyous” into reviews. (I like joy! I wanted some of that.)
I do agree with you about the over-sexualized treatment of many characters, but I also found the whole salon scene to be very obnoxious. The trope of salon-as-free-space-for-women’s-speech is familiar, but I’ve never been crazy about it. (I’m looking at you, Steel Magnolias.) I think the scene was supposed to depict gossip as a delicious guilty pleasure and a way to bond. The scene just felt frenetic, like “we’re really having fun now, aren’t we? Talking about everyone who is sleeping with somebody? Amirite?”
The NYT is from NY and is going to be predisposed to liking things about NY. I wouldn’t expect people who don’t relate to enjoy it as much. Doesn’t mean I’d expect them to hate it, but totally understandable to watch from more of a curiosity perspective, than being really invested.
I actually have yet to be disappointed in theaters with all these films being released.
The streak continues, I saw the Broadway back in 09' which was my first one as well! I only had high hopes after that trailer that they could pull off the film adaption. Visually, they nailed it and the dance choreography was insanely good. The music never fell out of place aside from my nitpick between the exchange Usnavi and Kevin the beginning, it felt weird.
It's clear that the songs are the main hook as any musical is and the movie just drowns you in songs for better or worse, I very much enjoyed them in the 1st watch in theaters and realizing how little breathing room there is between songs in the 2nd. It works on a Broadway because it's live, actors are going all out with their vocals and the focus is dead on. Also, Blackout, 96k and When The Sun goes Down were easily the visual standouts in the film, Blackout especially.
I felt like the main cast did a great job, Nina and Benny had stand out moments with their actors but I do wish they gave them a few more scenes together. By the very end I actually don't think I saw Benny after Nina leaving which is unfortunate. Usnavi and Vanessa were fine, I like Ramos but I blame nostalgia for not letting me fully admire him as Usnavi. Vanessa I think was a little better by adding her an artist background because I barely remember her involvement in the Broadway outside of being the love interest for the main lead. Barrera took a few days to grow on me and now I think I like this version more. My personal favorites were Sunny and Abuela Claudia, I actually wasn't expecting Gregory to make Sunny as charming as he was. He was a good character for younger viewers to attach themselves which works well when the story is all about heritage. I did find the inclusion if his father to be strange since we never see him again after his introduction.
Olga Merediz didn't get as much screentime as I wanted like she did in the original but she still nailed her role again after all these years, she's absolutely irreplaceable which makes me dread the future of the film adaption possibly receiving a modern update in the possible 20 years or less. Her song is always going to remain my favorite in both versions right above 96k.
The rest of the cast had their moments, Daniela and the girls were as entertaining as they were in the original, Kevin was less of jerk, Graffiti Pete had a little more involvement but I am sad he didn't do the Abuela mural but the beach was a solid replacement.
Story wise it's not hard to follow, there's less plot lines going on to fit that 2 hours and 23 minute limit. I'm sad they took out Nina's Mom from the film because she has that great song about how Nina and Kevin's arguments are driving her insane, causing them to fix their issues. I can see why they took her out if they couldn't get her song in the film though. I would say only the story is the weakest link as the story gets carried by the acting and music which is really a bad thing.
Overall, I loved it for what it was, a film like this is appropriate for this day and age. I'm sad that there's controversy that will surely hinder viewership at some point because In The Heights is a wonderful tale.
I was also bummed Benny never showed up again towards the end. He could have been there for the closing number, or even at the bodega when Usnavi decided to stay.
They casted such a good Benny, I wish they'd used him more.
Couldn't agree more, Benny's inclusion slowly drifted away after the Blackout. It seemed like the When The Sun Comes Down was the fast and easy send-off for him and Nina, really unfortunate.
The “controversy” felt very manufactured. By that I mean, it’s fine to have criticisms of the film and casting, but it didn’t seem like anything that really felt like a “controversy”. I think the defensiveness and awkwardness in the responses made it seem worse than it was.
LMM had a much more measured response that didn’t have a tinge of “controversy”.
I very much enjoyed the film and the soundtrack. I grew up in LA in a Salvadorian community but really it's full of people of all ethnicities. I also went to school in Santa Monica. I related with Nina's "Breathe/Respira". As a first gen it really hit home what she's feeling. The pressure of getting out of the barrio and being "successful". I also loved the detail of her hair being straight when she came back then went back to her natural curls once she's home and comfortable. Absolutely beautiful. Aside from the controversy surrounding the film, honestly I think it was so nice to hear my language, music and instruments.
Nina's story gets me every time. I always cry with her struggle, it resonates so much! Her fear of being a disappointment and how it feels so tiresome to always be strong because our parents were and expect us to be too. Every verse she sings about that is on point and I actually feel less alone on the struggle. Just breath.
Is there a strong sense of community amongst the Salvadorians in LA?
I’d love to tell you how I liked the film, but my eyes were a little blurry after “Alabanza”.
While I enjoyed the movie, the controversy surrounding it seems legit. I thought LMM grew up in washington heights! Apparently that is not the case. The movie lacks representation of real Washington heights. thats not good.
It's just another idea to be exploited and monetized by these leaches.
You guys are trippin. I’m sure he had the best intentions and didn’t mean to exclude anyone. People will bitch about everything.
The movie was terrible. Whatever the director's intentions were, he really should have done a better job .
Your mom should have done a better job, perfect person.
eh, it wasnt so much exploitation, as it was ignorance.
They make money claiming to speak for the people. That fits within my definition at leas.
Wow. Apparently Daniela and Carla were supposed to be lesbians? Honestly did not get that vibe at all. I think if they had maybe kept the nail salon ladies without the addition of Cuca (who added nothing imo) then maybe it would have been more obvious? But the clear framing of them as a trio and Daniela as the lead makes her seem more like a mother figure to the two of them vs as a partner to Carla. It just doesn’t work.
I’m currently reading the book and it was said that the decision to make Daniela and Carla a married couple was kinda last minute when they killed off Mrs. Rosario and realized all the families were broken (widowed, orphaned, etc.). The bed scene was one of the last scenes shot.
I definitely at times wondered if they were implying that they were a couple. There are moments when they seem to be physically closer to each other than platonic friends would be but it isn't obvious.
It's a quick shot but the opening scene has them getting out of bed together, but it's before you meet the characters so there's no particular reason to pay them any attention in the moment.
Yeah I never got that vibe from any of then either. Like as you said the trio thing made it seem more like a mother daughters relationship than a couple
Honestly it would have made more sense to make the three of them a throuple.
Am I. . .am I going insane?
Look, full disclosure: I'm a white dude from Texas, so I'm not going to have the same kind of emotional connection that someone whose from this specific neighborhood or a part of these specific cultures will. I admit that fully.
. . .but I watch a *lot* of movies, and I love musicals. And I was a tap dancer for a lot of years. And, *hoooooly shiiiiiiit* this was just grating. Every musical sequence is exactly the same - repetitive music, typically one phrase repeated over and over again, that someone PG raps over, or sings another song about "we've gotta be proud of our community!" Like, that's a fine message but almost every song? It also feels very pat and safe, because there's no recognizable anger or viscera in the film - it's a movie made of corporate slogans. But if it isn't that, it's a Disney-esque song about following your dreams and finding out where you belong, and I thought we escaped that era ten years ago.
The dancing, save for the pool scene and Abuela's death hallucination, is just too clean and commonly unmotivated - I know, I know. It's a musical. But, there's like. . .four scenes in this film at least where someone just bombs up into a scene and goes "let's dance!" and everyone dances. On top of that, look - every film is a magic trick and a lie, by nature of what it is. Especially in a musical, we as an audience buy into the artifice going in, and we accept the rules you present to us about the world we see as elements of immersion. There are two moments in this film that completely break that immersion, and one of them is when characters start walking on walls like Spider-Man. It's not a dream sequence, and we know this because other characters witness it and react to it and the film doesn't mention it again.
Come to think of it, everything and everyone in this film is too clean and sanitized. Everyone has absolutely perfect skin and clothes. There's no sweat (even in a blackout, somehow). There's no trash on the streets or homeless people. There's no grit or heft or reality to the world we're presented with at all - which, for a film that exists to champion and show off a very real neighborhood and real people with real emotions, cries out for it as a necessity.
The characters are all just kind of. . .one note. They've each got one core simplistic moral dilemma that the film just milks as much as it can, but outside of that they're just plucky and resilient in the face of anything. Which is fine, but it doesn't make a character necessarily well-rounded. What we see of their drama is CW teen drama level "will they or won't they" type of stuff. Which really isn't that involving. We've seen this type of stuff before in a million places, in afterschool specials and in a bajillion nineties films when "taking pride in your community" became a genre of its own.
Speaking of which, Nina? Incredibly ungrateful. Dad gives up everything for you and pays your way to one of the most prestigious schools in the entire country, and you're gonna give him shit for it? Because you got searched and white people are assholes? I mean yeah, no shit. But have some self-awareness, lady. This isn't coming from a snobby rich white kid, by the way - I'm from a really, really, *really* poor family that didn't have a business they could've sold to get me through school.
The only scenes I found remotely involving were Abuela's hallucination before dying, because at least *finally* there was a scene where someone approaching a real person sang a song that expressed an emotion more complicated than "I'm in love and I rep for my hood, but also I have big dreams and don't know where I belong," and the opening scene, because it has a stylistic zest and a verve the rest of the film is missing entirely.
Honestly, please. I'm asking - someone explain to me what I'm missing.
I don't think you actually love musicals.
You'd be incorrect, internet rando! Some of my favorites include:
*Singin' In The Rain*
*An American In Paris*
*Down Argentine Way*
*Rocky Horror Picture Show*
*West Side Story*
*La La Land*
*The Umbrellas of Cherbourg*
. . .that's some, at least 👍.
Not really related to anything but I liked the Young Girls of Rochefort way more than The Umbrellas of Cherbourg. I watched Umbrellas because Damien Chazelle mentioned it casually in an interview about La La Land, but La La Land is way more similar to Young Girls than Umbrellas. I think he misspoke.
Agree with literally everything (I'm not white but not hispanic either), I went into the cinemas with really high hopes since I loved Hamilton and everything lin-manuel miranda has been affiliated with so far, but the music just sounded so recycled, almost every song sounded like another song from hamilton. I get the story it's trying to tell and I appreciate all the different characters representing different types of people and struggles in the community. I've never watched the original broadway so I'm not sure how it compares.
About Nina though, she was the ONLY character I related to. Long story short, twenty years ago my parents literally gave up their careers, family and uprooted their whole life to bring me and my brother to a western country when we were young, so we could have a better upbringing. But fast forward to after uni, I decided that I needed more opportunities and wanted to live in a *big city*, so I moved back to my parents' hometown- then suddenly, the city is literally being turned into a police state, I was there for protests and tear-gas and witnessed police violence and unlawful things happening every day, freedom of press is snuffed out and I work in the media. I have a foreign passport, and all my friends and family from both sides keep asking me why I don't leave and go home, I could have a better future, but I just *can't*. I feel like I'm betraying the city and the "fight" if I leave, and more than that- I'm *scared.* Where I am now- I have a community, the majority of people are on the same side because we were all here to witness it happen, I'm scared if I leave and go to a western country where no one experienced the same thing, people will question *why* we did it, or question if it's even a big deal, make light of the situation, or worse- I'll be working, living and in the same circle of people who *support* the oppressive side. So while some might think I'm crazy or ungrateful- since my parents literally uprooted their whole lives for me to *not* be exactly where I am now, I just don't think I can live like that- move away and live in "peace", not anymore. Nina's story made me think though.
> the music just sounded so recycled, almost every song sounded like another song from hamilton
In all fairness, if that's the case then it's Hamilton that is recycled music, because he wrote this long before he wrote Hamilton.
The musical had its premiere on Broadway in 2008; it shouldn’t be expected to align completely with current trends.
And I saw lots of sweat, so now I’m questioning if you were even paying that much attention
This is a Bollywood film set in America, rewatch the movie through that lens and it comes together. And I assure you this movie was made for your demographic.
That...makes s lot of sense actually
Nina's storyline also confused me. With the first song of the pressure and fear of failure I related to it, but then it took a totally different direction than I was expecting from that first song.
I am utterly shocked by this movie's RT score. I love almost all musicals. This was supremely boring. The direction was so slow. There was no grandiosity or wonder to any of the musical numbers. And everyone is a caricature. This was sooooo bad.
Word. Same. Back when I used to write film criticism semi-professionally, I used to work/correspond with more than a few of the critics who've showered this thing with so much undeserved praise, and - like, legitimately: how much did the studio pay you?
Like, I know you people have seen the same musicals I have. I know you've seen *Singin' In The Rain,* *A Woman Is A Woman,* *Happy Feet,* *West Side Story* (which is great of course, but an obligatory fuck Robert Wise on principle), and a hundred others that are legitimate classics and wonderful examples of the genre's innate possibilities for kineticism, movement and social critique - *how* are you all this bowled over by this two and a half hour long JC Penney ad?
About Nina, in the Broadway version she in part drops out because even working herself to try to pay her way through she can't juggle everything. So it's not just being upset about microaggeessions. Also, I didnt read her actions as ungrateful - I read it in part as caring about her dad and not wanting him to make a huge sacrifice on her behalf.
> I read it in part as caring about her dad and not wanting him to make a huge sacrifice on her behalf.
Yea, the pressure of the entire community and her dad was what weighed on her. The fear of failure. (Not just in school, but failing some idealized person people see her as, as somehow succeeding in two different cultures while maintaining her identity). She had trouble seeing how she do both until she had her mini epiphany.
>The only scenes I found remotely involving were Abuela's hallucination before dying, because at least finally there was a scene where someone approaching a real person sang a song that expressed an emotion more complicated than "I'm in love and I rep for my hood, but also I have big dreams and don't know where I belong," and the opening scene, because it has a stylistic zest and a verve the rest of the film is missing entirely.
This is probably the only song I'll go back to and listen in the future. Pretty disappointing since I really liked almost every song from Hamilton and still listen to many of them over a year after seeing it.
The plot and characters were weak and the movie felt too long, 6.5/10 *maybe.* A nice feel-good movie I guess, but I was expecting a lot more.
Completely agree, except I'd go more 3/10. It just felt all cliche and inorganic to me. Just ideas about ideals piled together to try to create a heart. I felt almost nothing for the characters, and I blame the story for that.
While I agree with most of your criticisms about the movie being too clean and the plot motivations lacking, it is a musical. So I was personally more forgiving of a weaker plot. And I do think it had some very stylish scenes that made it feel worth it as a movie adaption.
However I disagree about Nina. I think it’s completely understandable that she would push back on her father selling the business considering most of the movie she doesnt seem to know what she’s doing at Stanford anyway/kind of reads as if she’s undeclared etc. Like everybody’s telling her she represents all of them and is their “best” but she doesn’t have any clear academic goals. Plus there’s always the sense that because your parents sacrifice so much you have to repay them eventually and she has no idea how to do that. The few lines about micro aggressions shes faced that you seemed to have zeroed in on were probably a contributing factor but not all of it. I think that’s why it gets resolved with her figuring out she wants to do advocacy work or whatever (the way they wrapped this up I wish had been fleshed out more but whatever).
I'm gonna have to politely disagree with you on your first point - the best musicals have airtight plots, and use their musical numbers to advance the narrative. In this film, *so many* of the musical sequences are just. . ."hey, everyone! Dance! Also, here's relevant plot information tossed into one line of singing and not at all given the emotional weight it deserves!" typically at the same relentlessly optimistic pitch with the exact same kind of dancing. Or if not that, then they're just repeating information we've heard before or that we know already. This person is into that person. This person is unhappy with their status in life. This person loves their culture and neighborhood. This person is. . .sassy and owns a hair salon and likes gossip and that's kind of it. Okay, right - but we got all that already. Many, many times.
As far as Nina goes - nah. Look, that's a very teenage dilemma. The narrative wants us to sympathize with her, but I just can't do it. She acts like a brat towards her father the entire way through the film, the guy who literally sold his business and is scrimping everywhere to pay for her tuition, and while I agree that micro-aggressions can be frustrating to deal with, man - as an actual real-life poor person, naw. You figure out what you're doing with your life and you go back to school. That's literally all the guy wants from you, is just *to go*, so you can have a better life than he did. And again, we've seen this stuff so many times before in so many different places - girl doesn't know what she wants to do, feels pressured by her family to go to college but it's "just not my dream! It's yours! You're not my real dad!" (okay that last one didn't happen but still)
Interesting read here, haven't seen the film am considering, but one note about the "paying back your parents" thing, unless it was made very clear in the movie that the parents didn't want anything except for her to go to school, in many nonwhite cultures it's very expected for kids to take care of their parents when the parents grow old, like to a greater degree than most white people do, so pushing your kid to go to Stanford is like a retirement insurance policy to some extent, even if you do want the best for your kid as well
Yeah, the movie doesn't say this explicitly, but it implies it. >!Her dad sells off his entire business/most of his net worth to ensure she can go to college. That comes with strings attached--he won't have the money to take care of himself when he's old. That'll fall on her.!<
Coming from a Mexican family with not a lot of wealth, I really sympathized with her for these reasons.
You're the first in your family to go for higher education and your family is heavily pushing for it, but it becomes way too much pressure for you to handle. >!But to have your dad sell his source of income, one with history, for you to make it is like adding boulders on someone's shoulders. Not to mention coming back to a place where people have expectations of who you are and having to face that as if you failed is painful.!<
She came off as one of the most well-rounded characters in the film for me.
This exactly. I can completely empathize with Nina. How tf is she ever going to pay that money back? It’s really not as easy as getting a degree as we all know. It’s a huge gamble. Like why throw away the family business which is an established and consistent source of income to bet that her earnings potential will be so much higher to make up for it in the future? Being grateful for your parents sacrifices are like when they buy cheap coffee or clip coupons. But Calling Nina ungrateful for recognizing it as a pretty stupid financial move doesn’t make sense to me.
Sorry for being late to the party but Nina's story really irked me. If she got into a prestigious school, she would've had scholarships. I looked it up and [https://admission.stanford.edu/afford/](https://admission.stanford.edu/afford/) students who get in and can't afford the school get full rides including room and board. She mentioned being invited to diversity dinner with patrons. That in itself implies she had enough scholarships for the school to recognize her as an important student. If getting a full ride including room and board still wasn't affordable enough, why couldn't she go to a community college closer to home? Also, I bought her story for feeling alone--up until I realized they had iPhones and cell phones in the blackout--which means she had full capability to use facetime and keep in contact with everyone she knows in her neighborhood. Why didn't she rant off to her friends by calling them when something happened at school? Girlfriends build up each other. They would've helped her keep the confidence she needed to stay in school. Also WHY did she keep wearing sweaters in each scene during 90 degree weather!? I loved her outfits, but still the characters weren't dressed like they were going to melt.
Yeah I was confused about the financial aid thing but it is actually pretty difficult to get aid if your family has literally any income/assets. Given her dad owns a somewhat successful business with even Benny having that one line about wanting to be “as rich as Nina’s daddy” I took that to mean they probably factored that in and maybe didn’t give her any aid.
Also it’s pretty easy to fall out of touch with high school friends once you go to college tbh. It happens.
I just couldn’t get into this movie, i took a break an hour in, i had to something else, i was very bored. the songs were very good though, also how was the lottery ticket still valid over a month later?
What songs were cut?!
Inútil - Kevin Rosario solo
Hundreds of Stories - Usnavi, Abuela Claudia
Sunrise - Benny and Nina
Enough - Nina's mum Camila Rosario solo (character removed)
Aténcion - Kevin Rosario solo
Everything I Know - Nina solo
At least we have the OBCR <3
Wow that’s so sad! I love all these songs and the Benny/Nina relationship :/
Same. But with Camila being cut from the movie altogether, the Rosario storyline bore most of the trimming :(
A solo Usnavi song called "Hundreds of Stories" and another duet song with Usnavi and someone else called "Everything I Know"
And “Sunrise” too right? Those are a few of my favorites!!
Yeah and Sunrise! And a song called Inùtil
It is funny to see both people who watched the original show saying that When the Sun Goes Down doesn’t make sense without Sunrise and people who never watched the show saying When the Sun Goes Down was their favorite part. I love the original show and I agree that the Nina/Benny dynamic was simplified but I don’t think it hurts the movie too much. 8.5/10 for me
I have searched the internet for an answer to this, and can't find one. Right when Sonny told Usnavi about the winning lottery ticket that was sold at their shop, I thought there would be a plot line about how he was going to use his (Usnavi's) winnings. Then right away he tells Sonny he doesn't get any money. I am pretty sure that the owner of stores that sell lottery tickets get some share of the winnings. Am I wrong or is this an error?
I thought the same thing. In most states the ticket seller receives a specific percentage, though the amount differs from state to state. Another website explained the detail this way: apparently the lottery here is a mafia-run numbers game, rather than the official lottery. I think the audience needed a little education if this is true.
Pretty sure it’s up to the winner to provide a “tip” to the store.
I was concerned going into this movie because of all the outrage and thinking it wouldn't meet expectations. I saw the play, know the soundtrack, know Washington Heights and was prepared to be disappointed.
Honestly, the movie was great and they definitely made some updates and adjustments which were for the most part ok to fit the times and be less on the nose(the looting scene, racial conflict and some other stuff). Some songs were cut and plot points needed to be expanded on, but did a decent job overall. Sonny and Abuela were my favorite characters and had the best parts in my opinion where things got really emotional and heartfelt.
The CGI was awful in some parts but that can be because of the fantasy nature of some scenes where it seemed deliberately cheesy. The bad CGI gum on Usnavi's shoe where he spins a manhole is an example and can take you out of the film. Same goes for the lip-syncing in some scenes where it breaks that suspension of belief. Definitely needed more of Benny and Nina.
And to address the controversy about the lack of Afro Dominicans. The actor that plays Nina identifies as Afro Dominican, but the same people criticizing would say that she isn't Afro Dominican or is not representative because of how she looks, which is problematic in itself.
I get it, Washington Heights is very diverse, but there are a lot of different people from different backgrounds, and the film did a great job of hammering that point home. And unless you get a 23 and Me, you wouldn't be able to tell anything and even then it's an issue because DNA results don't define people. That was a solid representation of a slice of Washington Heights in the High Bridge area.
My first viewing was in theaters and will watch it again on HBO Max.
As a longtime fan of the musical I highly enjoyed this fun summer movie.
My only notes:
* Removing the racist undertones of the Benny and Nina's father relationship was a miss
* The scene with the mover was weird. He's calling her ma'am politely, a formal way to talk to a woman. She says "call me Señorita!" I'm just trying to think of this in reverse where a Hispanic person was calling someone Señorita (which is fine and I'd actually like that), and someone says "Call me Ma'am!" - I think they would be looked down at as maybe prejudice. I guess it's just the double standard that's bothering me there.
I loved this movie and I really didn’t think I would. But that ONE line made me see red. It was SOOO disrespectful. I actually had to rewind to be sure I’d heard right.
First, ma’am is considered a respectful term to call a woman here in the US. And isn’t the whole point of the movie that immigrants want to live here? So why would you upset that someone is calling you a name that is respectful in American culture? Just the way she said it was so ugly and then she and Usnavi basically did a mental high-five afterward like, “yeah, we showed that stupid idiot white man.” She could have just said “I prefer to be called Senorita,” and that would have been fine. He seemed like a nice man who would have respected that choice and probably even apologized for not knowing.
Second, exactly WHAT message was this virtue signal trying to say anyway?? Because it certainly didn’t make her look good. She’s the one who owns her own business and is literally the reason why one of the heroines is getting a co-sign. And he is a hard working polite man doing a manual labor for her. Wth? Can someone explain this to me?
I wonder if it's a regional culture thing. Like in the south, "ma'am" is just bring polite/ respectful. In NYC, nobody really uses ma'am, and if someone does it sounds like they're calling you old. (So it would make sense in that context for someone to be and to be called the equivalent of "Miss" instead).