I must admit that if it was not for my wife my knowledge of musicals would be able to be written on the back of a postage stamp! However, I enjoyed Hamilton on Disney Plus and as In the Heights is brought to us by the creator of that show, I was interested to see what this movie was all about. Of course, due to Covid-19, we had to wait a year to find out, but that seems the case for most movies this year!
How to Stream or Download In the Heights
To stream or to download the film, click on the Download button that is located below this review – then choose a digital store.
The Movie Review
The best part of the movie for me was the setting. The movie takes place in a part of New York called, Washington Heights which is home to a large Dominican population as well as people from other parts of Latin America. The star of our movie is Anthony Ramos as Usnavi de la Vega. Usnavi runs a bodega in the area and dreams of moving to the Dominican Republic and reopening the bar that belonged to his father.
While I would say that Usnavi is the main character, it is a real “ensemble” kind of movie as his friends are a huge part of it. The area of Washington Heights is just awesome and I know this sounds cheesy, but it truly does feel alive. The way the streets and the majority of the locations are just full of people is great to see.
You may think from the trailers that everyone in Washington Heights is super happy and to be fair many people are. However, many of the people here are being priced out of their homes and change is coming to the area and as we all know, change can be a hard thing to take. While Usnavi dreams of moving away for a “better life” he realizes that this was his home all along and that the people here are his family.
Yes, it is extremely cheesy stuff, but I thought it was fun. The music numbers are great as is the choreography and when people are singing and dancing, New York really does come to life. I did not actually realize until the credits rolled (due to me not paying attention I will admit) that the director was Jon M. Chu and he did a fantastic job!
I also would not find out until recently that In The Heights was a bit of a bomb at the box office which really surprised me. I saw many, many advertisements for this movie so I assumed it was a pretty big deal. When stuff like this happens to a movie that I enjoy, I always wish that I made the effort to see it in the theatre. Well, hopefully, my rental on Amazon will help it out a tad.
At the end of the day, In The Heights is just a fun, feel-good kind of movie. I had a good time watching it and my wife who is a big-time musical fan thought it was excellent from start to end. If you are in the mood for something fun and something that will lift your spirits, you cannot go wrong with this.