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Thu Jun 10, 2021, 01:15 PM

'In the Heights' is the first genuinely cheerful, splashy, life-affirming movie of the summer

Washington Post

To quote “In the Heights” itself, the streets are made of music in the first genuinely cheerful, splashy, exuberantly life-affirming movie of the summer.

King Kong might have stomped his way back into filmgoers’ hearts as they timidly made their way back into theaters while Cruella made stylish mincemeat of all comers. While it was cathartic watching the “Quiet Place” family vanquish an invasive and deadly pandemic, their pervading ethos of hyper-vigilance and mutual mistrust struck a little too close to home after a year and a half of isolation and social distancing. Finally, theatrical audiences are being rewarded with the sunny, restoratively optimistic movie they’ve been craving for the past year and a half.

Adapted by Jon M. Chu from Lin-Manuel Miranda and Quiara Alegría Hudes’s hit Broadway musical, “In the Heights” tells the story of New York’s eponymous neighborhood: Washington Heights, where generations of strivers from around the world have put down roots in a simultaneously forbidding and seductive new home. As the film opens, Usnavi (Anthony Ramos) has gathered a group of young children to explain what the Heights mean to his family and friends who grew up there: the energy, camaraderie, rhythmic pulse and indefatigable work ethic of a place that functioned both as a tightly knit social hub and springboard for greater things. It’s all laid out in a glorious performance of the film’s title song, a classic musical-theater place-setter that introduces the plot, characters and overarching themes of “In the Heights” within a captivating, vibrantly staged production number.

Unfolding over the course of the hottest days of a torrid Upper Manhattan summer, the story of “In the Heights” isn’t particularly new: It involves the complicated love affairs of two couples: Usnavi and Vanessa, a would-be fashion designer played with focused self-assurance by Melissa Barrera; and Benny and Nina, an off-license taxi dispatcher and a returning Stanford student, played by Corey Hawkins and Leslie Grace. The nail salon where Vanessa works is being priced out of the neighborhood, with her boss, Daniela (played by the sublime Daphne Rubin-Vega), packing up for the Bronx. Meanwhile, Usnavi, who runs a corner bodega, is nursing dreams of returning to the Dominican Republic, where he wants to take over his family’s beachfront bar.

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Reply 'In the Heights' is the first genuinely cheerful, splashy, life-affirming movie of the summer (Original post)
brooklynite Jun 10 OP
Corgigal Jun 10 #1
hunter Jun 10 #2
LetMyPeopleVote Jun 13 #3
dsc Jun 13 #4
mnhtnbb Jun 13 #5
Ace Rothstein Jun 13 #6
obamanut2012 Jun 13 #7
Ace Rothstein Jun 13 #8
Dorian Gray Jun 13 #9
brooklynite Jun 13 #11
notpolltested Jun 13 #10
electric_blue68 Jun 13 #12

Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Thu Jun 10, 2021, 02:02 PM

1. Thanks.

Will get the family over to watch this weekend. Sounds like an great escape movie.

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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Thu Jun 10, 2021, 02:55 PM

2. I'm looking forward to this!

The first post vaccination movie my wife and I saw was Cruella, which I thought was wonderful, but maybe that's not a credible review because I was so happy to be back to the movies after fifteen months of pandemic isolation.

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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Sun Jun 13, 2021, 09:27 PM

3. My family saw this movie today at the theater

My son, my youngest child and I saw In the Heights. My middle child and her husband saw this movie earlier today in Austin. My youngest had seen the play in London and liked the film a bit better. It was nice getting out. It has been almost two years since I have seen a movie. We were at the Alamo Drafthouse that was largely empty. The local Regal that we passed on the way also had a largely empty parking lot


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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Sun Jun 13, 2021, 09:33 PM

4. It was an amazing film

my first film since the pandemic began. It is good to see musicals making a comeback. Not only this film but Dear Evan Hansen in September and the remake of West Side Story in December. I can't wait.

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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Sun Jun 13, 2021, 09:37 PM

5. Watched it Friday on HBO Max.

Great choreography. Very enjoyable.

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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Sun Jun 13, 2021, 09:39 PM

6. Is it appropriate for a 10 year old?

I think my daughter would really enjoy it.

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Response to Ace Rothstein (Reply #6)

Sun Jun 13, 2021, 09:42 PM

7. I've watched it twice, and I would say yes

One couple spends the night with one another, but there's no sex, and a little bad language, but I think it's fine/ And, it's great.

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Response to obamanut2012 (Reply #7)

Sun Jun 13, 2021, 09:44 PM

8. Well she hears enough bad language from her dad.

I'll let her know ok to watch. Thanks!

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Response to Ace Rothstein (Reply #6)

Sun Jun 13, 2021, 10:12 PM

9. My ten year old daughter and I watched

the first half tonight.

There is a little sexual innuendo in the songs (went mostly over her head) and some curse words. But not worse than Hamilton. (Which she loved.) We will finish tomorrow night. Started too late and she had to go to bed.

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Response to Dorian Gray (Reply #9)

Sun Jun 13, 2021, 10:57 PM

11. Also, several young kids in the production.

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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Sun Jun 13, 2021, 10:32 PM

10. First time in a movie theater since Star Wars IX, definitely worth seeing on the big screen nt

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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Sun Jun 13, 2021, 11:32 PM

12. I've lived in part of that neighborhood years ago, and still...

are in parts of it from time to time.

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