|Geez, am I the only one who watched IN THE HEIGHTS?|
|Posted by: showtunetrivia 01:43 pm EDT 06/11/21|
|I got HBO Max, as I’m still not going to movie houses (too many health issues in the family).
It’s a great deal of fun, a perfect summer movie. Jon M. Chu’s direction thankfully isn’t as frenetic and jerky as so many modern movie musicals/videos are, and he’s clearly steeped in classic musicals. There are homages to Astaire, Kelly, Busby Berkeley, and Esther Williams, as well as the opener, which evokes “Isn’t It Romantic?”—as discussed here last week. And the streetlights in one number look a lot like those one Kelly swings on in the rain.
There are changes to the libretto, most of them fairly intelligent, which I won’t get into here for spoilers’ sake. Daphne Rubin-Vega and Olga Merediz were my favorites, as well as LMM’s cameo and his rival, the Mister Softee Guy. (They must have had a blast filming their scene!) I was trying to figure out why Anthony Ramos lacked….something as Usnavi that LMM had, despite being a better actor and singer. Part of it, obviously, is that LMM created the role. But there’s an inner awkwardness to Usnavi that Ramos didn’t quite nail—he just didn’t seem like the kind of guy who gets spots on his shirt.
Is this one of the Greatest Movie Musicals Ever? I don’t think so, but it’s a darn good one, and one with a theme and warmth we need right now. I’m looking forward to the filmed version of COME FROM AWAY in much the same spirit.
Note: watch through the end of the credits. :)
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