FILM REVIEW | The High Note

On song: Tracee Ellis Ross and Dakota Johnson star in The High Note, a music comedy rated M, in cinemas now.
On song: Tracee Ellis Ross and Dakota Johnson star in The High Note, a music comedy rated M, in cinemas now.

Imagine The Devil Wears Prada, but instead of Miranda Priestly, Andie Sachs works for Diana Ross.

That's pretty much the premise of new music-based comedy The High Note.

Dakota Johnson plays Margaret, the overworked, underappreciated assistant to popular singer Grace Davis (Tracee Ellis Ross, daughter of Diana).

Margaret has her eyes on a producing career and has been working on cutting together a live greatest hits album behind her boss's back.

She also happens upon a young, talented singer-songwriter - David Cliff, played by Kelvin Harrison Jr (Waves) - and offers her producing services.

There's nothing especially surprising or unpredictable about the generically-titled The High Note, but it's an enjoyable, easy watch nonetheless.

Johnson has proved throughout her career that she's got the acting chops to be a leading lady (not surprising when you consider her parents are Melanie Griffith and Don Johnson, and Antonio Banderas was her stepfather), and hopefully more turns like this will see her perceived as more than just the actress from Fifty Shades of Grey.

The film, directed by Nisha Ganatra who last year delivered the funny and poignant Late Night, makes a lot of salient points about women in music, and how the industry often struggles to support those over 40.

There's a host of original songs and plenty of families tunes as well on the soundtrack.

Harrison delivers soulful vocals and a fun, memorable performance that will surely see getting even more big film roles in the coming years.

The extended cast also features Ice Cube (21 Jump Street) as Grace's long-time manager, June Diane Raphael (Long Shot) as Gayle, another of the singer's assistants, and Bill Pullman (The Sinner) as Margaret's radio host father.

Artist Diplo - best known for his Where Are U Now collaboration with Justin Bieber - also has a small role as an idiotic producer.

While The High Note isn't going to change any lives or become a must-watch film of 2020, it's enjoyable enough to tide over two hours and has some truly fantastic costuming moments.

Rating: 7/10

This story The High Note film review: Easy music flick on song first appeared on Campbelltown-Macarthur Advertiser.