In The Heights movie megathread
By - ilysespieces
Patrick page making an in the heights cameo...when Hades takes over Washington heights
"Why we build the dry cleaners"
Lover, you were gone so long
Lover, I was lonesome
So I built a laundry
In the ground beneath your feet
Here I’m cleaning gowns of silk
Satin textiles of that ilk
Then I keep that washer full
With these garments made of wool
Lover, when you feel that dryer
Think of it as my desire, for you
Only Hades would charge 9 bucks a shirt and over 100 bucks for napkins. Do people really pay that much for dry cleaning?
I think it’s more so location. Everything’s expensive in NYC.
I think the point was that he was charging much more than was reasonable for the neighborhood/time frame - a more subtle example of gentrification.
And Grace McLean does additional vocals. There is a large group 90% through the credits that also has Javier Munoz
He flashes on screen, in the first song, checking out at the bodega
This has to be my favorite movie of the year so far! Anthony Ramos as Usnavi was fantastic and I’m so happy Olga Merediz reprised her role. I actually wasn’t mad at the changes they did for the movie, I think it helped elevate the storyline. Paciencia y Fe followed by Alabanza was emotional and actually made me cry. It was a beautiful film that I will definitely watch again.
I thought it was stunning. My jaw was literally dropped during most of the dance numbers. The changes didn't bother me...I appreciate both versions for what they are. "You'll Be Back" as the hold music KILLED me!
I think it was credited to The Smooth Jazz Allstars?
Same! I was laughing my head off the whole time
I really liked it. I know they had to make changes but it still worked. I like that there was melodies throughout the movie of the cut songs.
I think the visuals were beautiful and since Jon M. Chu is set to direct wicked I hope we get some beautiful visuals in that as well.
I love Chris and Lin’s cameos as well as having Olga Merediz reprise her role, but I do wish we got a Mandy and Karen cameo as well.
I have seen a lot of people talking about Anthony’s performance and how good it was but the person who really stood out to me was the kid who played Sunny. In the show he’s such a back ground character but not only do they give him more just the acting from that kid I loved.
She's in there, kinda. She's performing a song called "Always" which plays in the dry cleaners when Claudia brings in the napkins.
She’s also in the group of musicians and Breathe and I think in the ensemble of Carnaval del Barrio
Really? I didn't think he was cocky enough. He read as very sad, almost emo.
I saw it in a movie theater tonight, and was so glad I got to see all the dance scenes on the big screen! The pool in particular was amazing. LOVED the Patrick Page cameo, as well as Chris Jackson.
This film came up on my radar after reading about the so-called controversy. I kinda wanted to support it just based on the fact that it's a Latino story featuring a mostly Latino cast. Musicals and dance scenes are not really my thing though.
That said, your comment sold me on it. In an era where there's less and less reason to go see movies in the theater, seeing some elaborately choreographed dance sequences on the big screen seems like reason enough.
I'll probably see it this week.
Patrick page made a cameo? I didn't know he was in the original broadway cast?
He was not in the original Broadway cast, but he does make a nice cameo here.
Patrick Page plays the dry cleaner business owner next door to Kevin’s taxi company.
Just came from seeing it a second time (first time in the theater, last saw it in an online preview).
The changes didn't bother me as much the second time, but some of it does feel like unrelated drama. I don't think I'll ever be happy with what they did to Benny. Dude has virtually no purpose, which stinks because the actor is really great in the role.
Lin was great as Usnavi onstage, but man, there's something about Anthony Ramos. He just looks and fits the part so much better.
> He just looks and fits the part so much better.
I disagree hardcore with this. Usnavi is supposed to be this kind of awkward dork. Lin fits that role perfectly; Anthony Ramos has to work to make you believe he's less objectively hot than he is.
That's fair. The film Usnavi isn't really the same character; Ramos really sold me on being a guy struggling and wanting to get back home.
I've been trying to reconcile my hardcore agreement with /u/RenisaBish's comment and my deep love for Ramos's acting. I think your comment has helped me do that, thanks.
Just because someone is attractive doesn't mean they can't be awkward. Plus, you can believe Ramos more as some average dude off the block from Washington Heights... idk if I could ever say that about Lin
I get that, but I feel like Ramos really sold that aspect of usnavi by playing up how cheesy he was about his dreams. It’s a different kind of likeable dork. I think it mostly just harmed the dance club scene. Usnavi wasn’t really an awkward dancer, which made the conflict between him and Vanessa kind of abrupt to me. But generally I feel like he portrayed the dorkiness pretty well.
My only problem with Anthony Ramos was at times he felt kind of flat. No disrespect to him, just it was a super small nitpick.
Loved it. Truly well done. Standouts for me were Ramos, Hawkins, and Merediz.
Pour one out for Camila. What was the purpose of cutting her? How hard would it have been to include her in the kitchen scenes with Nina and Abuela Claudia?
They wanted nina’s story to be more of a struggle. I still think they should’ve kept her.
Is anyone else LIVING for Lin as the Piragua Guy?
Edit: just discovered Chris Jackson as the Mr. Softee guy and I can’t.
Edit round 2: just realized the bartender in the club scene is the original Graffiti Pete!!!!!!!!!
And the guy buying up real estate is no other than Patrick Page, AKA Hades in Hadestown.
I prefer to refer to him as Green Goblin from Spider-Man: The Musical 😂😉
the only appropriate way to refer to him 😂
I thought I’d be upset about the changes they made, but it was so well done I honestly don’t mind it. It was incredible and I cried the whole time just from being so pleased
I think an issue is ITH’s movie occasionally does a thing a lot of movie musicals do where you can tell the actors are lip syncing or because movies are more realistically played than Broadway, the actors feel more restrained.
I liked breathe more on Broadway because of the amount of emotion you feel from Mandy.
It got kind of frustrating during breathe, which is supposed to be a show stopping number but you can tell the actress is barely moving her mouth. I think a scene that got it the worst was Vanessa and usnavi arguing during blackout. Only actor I feel who didn’t do it was LMM although that’s probably because he wasn’t on screen as long.
Idk if it’s because the actors aren’t used to doing so or if they needed another take but I hated how much lip syncing was in the movie.
Oh man, to each their own but I couldn’t disagree with you more about the music. I never listen to Hamilton (I think it’s genius on paper but don’t really enjoy listening to it, with a couple of exceptions), and Moana is good but also has a few skips for me. In the Heights is one of the few CRs that I will regularly listen to all the way through, and I constantly revisit it.
I always feel like ITH has more of LMMs heart in I than Hamilton, which gives it a certain quality.
I’ve realized that it’s physically impossible for me to get through either Alabanza or the Finale without getting choked up haha. Though Dear Theodosia does that too, to be fair. To your point, that one feels personal to him in a way that so much of ITH does, which I agree gives it that something extra
100% agree with this
A few things I haven’t seen mentioned - for some reason I got chills/super excited when Anthony Ramos knocked on the wood in rhythm at the very start, which started the music. Maybe it was just the excitement of seeing a musical again on the big screen. I also loved the way everything before the vocals started in the opening (the gate latch, the hose sprays) was in time with the clicks.
I agree, I loved the way they used the environment around them during the songs. Stuff like that is so fun and is exactly what a movie musical should be.
Yes! Finding music in the action around the characters and some of the CGI effects (drawing a subway map midair, the air drawings during 96,000) all really added a fantastic showy element to the movie.
I’m not done the movie yet but my god, Corey Hawkins sounds so much like Chris Jackson. I didn’t think anyone could match up to Chris but here we are.
Corey was my standout!
He was so damn good, I wish they didn't cut so much of Benny's story.
I noticed that during sunrise and couldn’t get over it. Vocal twins!
I had to look him up to see what else he was in. Benny’s Dispatch is my fave song (maybe tied with Blackout), and he totally made it his own. I kept gasping and looking at my husband and was like “he is owning this song”. Incredible
Benny's Dispatch and the scene where Benny goes to the dispatch during the blackout are two of the absolute best scenes. But I may be biased seeing as Benny is the best character to me.
True story. I was listening to the OBC and Benny's song came up and I thought, "wait, when did I buy the movie soundtrack?" Lol
I loved it and immediately want to watch it again. To me, it's the best musical to movie adaptation in recent memory. John Chu was born to direct musicals because this felt exactly like a movie musical should. They weren't scared to be creative and use the filmmaking tools at their disposal that you don't get when putting a show on the stage.
Anthony Ramos needs to be a star, I couldn't picture a better Usnavi (even Lin lol). Olga Merediz proves why they could never have recast Abuela Claudia. Corey Hawkins as Benny was also a great performance, I wish he was used more (desperately missed Sunrise). I never really connected with Vanessa in the OBCR but really loved what Melissa Barrera brought to the character. I could go on all day because the cast really was fantastic. Not to mention all the background dancers.
If I had any criticisms it would be the removal of Inutil and the performance of Breathe. Breathe should be a show stopper and it just didn't pack the punch it needed to. Inutil is one of my favourite musical songs in general and I was sad to see it removed even if I could see why they did it.
What was everyone’s thoughts on changing around the lottery ticket plot line?
Personally I was a little upset because moving the reveal farther into the story meant taking away hundreds of stories and then my fav part of carnival del bario where usnavi reveals to sonny that he’s getting a third of the money.
I do agree with that. But changing paciencia y fe to being about her crossing over to the afterlife broke me. It was so beautiful and well done
Somehow as frustrating as all the changes were to me, it made the movie feel "fresh & new" which was amazing. But the lottery ticket plot line seemed like the most unnecessary cut of all. Bc a lot of her stories and community connections were told through the winning of the lottery ticket Abuela felt absent for the first 45 minutes and was gone by time we actually got to enjoy her presence. FWIW though the emotional punch of Paciencia y Fe & her passing was a worthy tradeoff.
Honestly, it kinda felt like they had to put her death with Paciencia y Fe so we'd feel the emotional impact because we didn't know her enough beforehand. Then it feels like her entire storyline is just to be there to die. And I just...I didn't believe she would choose to die. That choice, in the way they framed it, doesn't make sense to me. I don't think she was done living. She wanted to go to DR with Usnavi. That's why her death was so utterly tragic.
I felt the same way! We didn’t get to explore her character the way we do in the musical. And then cutting Ninas song in dedication to her felt like we were missing out on how much she was truly loved by her community and them
Plus they didn't even allude to Atención! The fact that Kevin would have all the cab drivers spreading the news like that wasn't just a way to tell the audience, it drove home how big of a figure Abuela Claudia was. And immediately going into Alabanza just...It didn't let the death sink in enough.
I think cutting it in the way that they did was important in making the story more true to life. In the original show it was an exciting and easy way to solve most of the characters’ problems, but in reality it doesn’t solve all the problems in the world, or even all the problems for the folks on the block. Musicals can be a little more shiny, optimistic, and insular but movies have to have a foot in reality and a larger scope, and I thought redoing the lottery ticket plot helped move it in that direction without abandoning the plotline entirely.
Plus, the fact that Usnavi already had a path to getting back to the DR as he bought his dad's old bar and was already making the move... so the ticket wasn't really important in this version as Usnavi didn't really need this convenient plot point to get through to the conflict regarding moving or staying... he earned that decision instead of just having an act of God putting that choice in front of him, which I think makes his character more complex compared to the stage version
> he earned that decision instead of just having an act of God putting that choice in front of him, which I think makes his character more complex compared to the stage version
The downside of this is that in the musical, drama is derived from the sudden shift that has occurred: First, Usnavi's dream of returning to the D.R. is treated as unattainable, and so not taken seriously, which is the context in which he first strikes up a relationship with Vanessa. Then, when the ticket falls into his hands, and he unexpectedly finds himself able to make his dream a reality, he has to face up to what that actually means, which he did not previously have to do. The tension between him and Vanessa in the second act is entirely based around that sudden shift.
I'm not saying the plot couldn't work with the premise that Usnavi "earned" his dream instead of the ticket falling into his hands. And I will readily concede that the events in the movie still make technical, logical sense. But without adjusting how that affects the development of the character relationships, I found is less dramatically compelling.
I mean I think this debate is whether you prefer Usnavi as a passive character or a active character.
Additionally, while I understand the whole unattainable dream aspect of the stage show I just don't really enjoy the idea of a deus machina being used to basically progress the story. It also doesn't give Usnavi a stake in his dream of moving out. In the movie, he has to deal with the fact that he worked to make his dream a reality and he has to actually fight with that idea that he might throw away years of work to stay in New York... it grounds the character and makes him much more relatable as we all have had to do that at some point.
Usnavi turning his back on moving after conveniently getting some money can be read as him backing out of an elaborate joke he never had much reason to go through with as he never was going to make enough money to do it, so his drama can also be read as superficial because he can finally use that money to support himself in NY and still go after Vanessa... in the movie he has to struggle with that decision because he vest so much time and actual money in moving out.
I’ve only listened to the Broadway album (haven’t seen it) but is Usnavi not saving up for his dream in the play?
96,000 already establishes that 96,000 is a lot of money, but not that much. Even less when Abuela Claudia starts dividing it up. Usnavi is also the one in 96,000 who raps that instead of wishing to win the lottery to make your dreams come true, you should set goals and methodically work on steps to achieve those goals. Given that, it would make sense that the lottery winnings aren’t the only thing funding his trip, but it makes the trip possible now (as opposed to say, 10-20 years from now).
The fact that Usnavi in the movie already has enough money for the trip makes the timing of his announcement in Carnaval odd. Is it because Abuela died, and so he feels there’s nothing else keeping him in Washington Heights? Is it because Abuela’s death made him feel life is short and he should pursue his dreams sooner rather than later? Is the timing just a coincidence, because earlier in the film it was established that he’s pretty close to going anyway? The changed lyrics don’t really give any particular insight to this, and the announcement ends up feeling dramatically weaker.
It introduces a pretty significant dramaturgical problem, considering the lottery ticket plays an important plot function. It allows Usnavi to realize his dream of going to D.R., and the fact that it places this dream in reach forces him to face up to what that actually means, regarding leaving his community. The movie tries to side-step this in a way that maybe makes technical logical sense, but lacks the dramatic impact that is the shock of the lottery ticket, and the suddenness with which the subsequent reckoning occurs.
Likewise, I didn't like the blackout ending earlier, and the month-long time skip. Act II of *In The Heights* is practically a crucible, and these changes to the timeline made the whole thing feel less intense.
Idk... I feel like have Abell Claudia's death be the end of act 1 of the movie makes more sense than ending it like they did in the stage play, especially since the movie focuses more on usnavi as the main character while the stage version's main character is arguable Nina so it makes sense to end it with the kiss
> Idk... I feel like have Abell Claudia's death be the end of act 1 of the movie makes more sense than ending it like they did in the stage play,
I disagree, on the fairly succinct grounds that the less time we spend with Abuela Claudia (and the less time we see Usnavi spend with her), the less impactful her death is. I note, for example, that they kept the lyrics in the finale in which Usnavi apologizes to Claudia for not going to D.R., even though, in the movie, he never really made those plans to go with her in the first place. (Yes, there's an offhand dialogue early on that isn't really revisited, much less with the stress of "Hundreds Of Stories," or with the excitement of the ability to make that move being given by an unexpected windfall.) Remember also that, in the stage show, part of the shock of Claudia's death is that she dies right when her dream of going back home is just within arm's reach. Not present in the movie.
> especially since the movie focuses more on usnavi as the main character while the stage version's main character is arguable Nina so it makes sense to end it with the kiss
It's not an either/or. They didn't have to end with either the kiss or Abuela Claudia's death. They could have done something else entirely. Especially considering that, as a movie without an intermission, the movie did not really need a climactic event delineating a border between the acts.
It's not that I don't understand the impetus for several of the changes, but I think the movie tended to fall into a trap which a lot of adaptations fall into (and this includes stage musical adaptations of movies) which is wanting to make changes to the story for the sake of the new medium, but not being willing to make the full sweep of changes that those initial changes would logically ripple into, because that would mean getting rid of iconic things from the source material which audiences would be upset to see missing. The result is a half-hearted compromise which more or less pleases fans of the original source, because they instinctively fill in the dramaturgical gaps from their knowledge of the source, but, on examination, doesn't hold together on its own quite as well as it could have.
(Note: In The Heights is very far from the worst offender, as adaptations go. I did very much enjoy the movie, and I rate it pretty highly as far as recent movie musicals go. I just want to be clear that my nitpicky criticism doesn't mean I didn't like the movie.)
I do get were you are coming from, but lets not forget that her dream of leaving and going to the DR was in reach in this movie as well. Usnavi had everything pretty much set pretty early on and just needed to work on Sonny.
Also, while I get that her personal relationship with Usnavi isn't given much time in the movie, we do get to see her relationship with the rest of the community. Her home becomes a safe haven for people during the black out, etc. So its a give and take here
Her home being the safe place I think is what sold the changes for me?? I wasn't sure how I was feeling until everyone was there for Nina's dinner, which it was just a few of them in the stage version. And as I was trying to explain the relationships in the movie to my partner (not a musical junkie like myself) it becomes clear that she just gathers people, that she built a community around her.
She also talks about inheriting others dreams, and when she saw her family in her home, Unsavi set to go to DR, she felt at ease to move on? Maybe? I'm still grappling with the changes - just saw it last night. LOVED THE HECK OUT OF IT. But not having "what do I with this winning lottery ticket", oof, I missed that reveal. The second Unsavi found the box at the end I knew it would be there.
For me I didn’t mind it but I hated how Usnavi found out Abuela won. It felt like he was stealing money from a dead woman.
The ticket did say “for usnavi” on it at least
Abuela Claudia’s storyline really gets boiled down to sings Paciencia y Fe and dies. The reveal of the lottery ticket comes so late in the film, you almost forget it was a storyline. It doesn't help that the film lessens the impact of her role and death by cutting out Everything I Know and removing the mural of her at the end. Unlike the film, in the original show, her presence is still felt after she dies. It’s such a shame cause Paciencia y Fe is really the best number in the film and had the story followed more like the original show, I think Olga Merediz could’ve been in the running for a supporting nomination.
Couldn’t agree with you more! I think Abuelas mural not being in the movie literally broke my heart the most
I don’t understand why they reduced the mural of her to a quote. Could they not fit Abuela Claudia’s face under the “Pacencia y Fe” text?
I rented a theater for the private watch party. I invited friends & family. None of them ever saw the musical. It was such a treat to see how they got sucked in for stories of Usnavi, Nina, Vanessa, Benny, Sunny, and Abuela Claudia.
I cried a few times. Abuela’s song made me cry when i saw the stage production and it made me cry again today.
I think John Chu is a perfect director for this movie. He has a talent to bring over the top production to the screen beautifully.
Did anyone else catch the Hamilton Easter egg hold music? Made me smile when I heard it!
It stood out to me that movie Nina's voice is so different from that of Mandy Gonzalez, but then I realized that apart from them having different voice types, Mandy was 30 when she played the role. Movie Nina should do a better job passing as a 19 year old, so she definitely needed a younger-sounding voice anyway.
Paciencia y fe was a strong song in the obc (i never seen the musical in person tho), but in the movie, it was a show stopper. incredible performance all around
Fun fact: *In The Heights* is the first Lin-Manuel Miranda production where Anthony Ramos's character isn't killed or sent to jail.
Why did they replace the final note of When You’re Home with a dramatic line reading? The Beast* would never.
Loved it but missed the songs that were cut. I think it lands better if you didn’t see the Broadway show. Loved all of the cameos and “Easter eggs”.
Idk if anybody has said it yet but one big problem I had with the movie was the amount of super noticeable lip syncing. It felt like a bad Disney channel musical at times. Idk if it’s because the actors aren’t used to doing it or if they just needed another take, but it was so frustrating watching scenes where you can tell they’re not really singing, like during breathe or the blackout.
It’s just a nitpick but it was a huge pet peeve I had watching the movie. Only one I felt didn’t really do it was LMM.
anyone else catch that daniela and carla appear to be in a relationship in this movie? i totally didn't catch it the first time i watched but they're in bed together in one of the opening scenes and then in carnaval del barrio it becomes glaringly obvious! ive never seen the musical, just heard the soundtrack many times so im not sure if this was intended in the original or if they added it to the movie.
IN DEFENSE OF THE IN THE HEIGHTS FILM
I know there are many of you/us out there who are disappointed with the film version. Cut songs, cut characters, changed storylines, and the like. Might I offer an olive branch to those not happy:
There are many people who feel watching a filmed version of a production as the same going to see a live show. The vast majority of us know this is not the case. As someone who participates in community and semi-professional theater in my hometown, keeping the integrity of a staged work is very important in maintaining the art form.
I applaud the creative team for tweaking the show to stand on its own in the film version. Granted, Benny is basically a secondary character now, Nina’s dad is no longer a racist, and they updated some storylines to include dreamers and racial inequality in higher education. With that being said, the stage version of the show remains what we fell in love with. Those of us of who live In The Heights in its true form can now have people go see live productions and see something different.
They can’t use the line: “well I already saw the movie”. We can comfortably say with absolute certainty: “the stage version is better”.
Just a thought.
One thing I haven’t seen mentioned is the overall tonal shift from Broadway to the movie. It is like they removed a lot of the small conflicts between characters / the neighborhood and instead added more national scale, “them against us” dialogue not originally present. Clearly that makes it more modern for today’s sake but it’s also like they shined up the block a bit to make it seem less “us against us”. Some examples (some already mentioned):
-Conflict between Kevin and Benny removed.
-Daniela’s attitude towards Vanessa and Carla removed.
-No safety concern during Blackout, bodega getting robbed removed.
-No fight at the club when Benny starts punching the guy dancing with Nina. And no fight between Benny and Nina after he gets fired.
-Vanessa’s alcoholic mother removed (but I suppose replaced with Sonny’s implied alcoholic father).
-Nina getting in trouble for staying out all night removed.
-Usnavi forgetting about Vanessa during Blackout removed.
-Conflict between Nina’s parents removed (by removing her mom).
-Usnavi seems nicer towards Sonny and graffiti Pete. Even Sonny has a bit less attitude.
-Nina’s problems at Stamford are now due to racial profiling instead of losing her scholarship due to poor grades from working two jobs.
-Sonny is now undocumented, which now shifts the purpose of the lottery win and Nina’s new purpose for finishing school. Also the rally was added.
-Vanessa is moving downtown to pursue a fashion career, instead of trying to escape her alcoholic mother and the neighborhood.
I like both versions but found some of these less subtle changes interesting. Also yes some may be for plot simplification.
[Not a strong debut at a less than 12 million opening weekend](https://deadline.com/2021/06/in-the-heights-peter-rabbit-2-weekend-box-office-1234774162/)
I think it comes down to a variety of factors - HBO Max, unknown property, no stars, general public hesitation of musicals, lack of popularity of LMM outside Hamilton, the controversy damping some of the core audience enthusiasm for the film. It’ll be interesting to see how the rest of this year's musical films fare.
What’s the controversy you’re referring to here?
The colorism and lack of Afro-Latinos in the film. I’m not saying it’s playing a role in people’s decision to see the film in theaters but when I think of other recent studio films that were seen as huge moments for representation (i.e. Black Panther and Crazy Rich Asians, and I understand these are different types of films) there was a huge level of grassroots-type support that just doesn't seem as there for In The Heights.
That's hilarious. Nothing damages progress quite like puritans from within.
There were stars but not in leading roles. Also there were a TON of Brooklyn 99 alumni in it I guess because that’s LMM’s favorite show.
My jaw dropped when I watched the thanksgiving episode and nina’s dad was making a binder on Jake.
Eh, I would say Jimmy Smits is probably the biggest name in the cast (not counting the Marc Anthony cameo) and despite being a mainstay of tv for decades, l wouldn’t call him a star in the sense he’s going to draw new people in.
I didn’t even realize sonny’s dad was Marc Anthony LOL. I was like “why are they bringing so much attention to this random guy?”
my biggest issue with this movie was that there was barely dark skinned afro latinx people in it. if you base a story in washington heights, there is NO WAY that you don't add more color to this story. the average latino in washington heights IS afro latino. that’s literally all the heights is. washington heights is basically another dominican republic. most of the people there are brown to dark skinned afro latinx people. yet they cast a whole bunch of white passing latinos. to make a movie about a mostly black latinx neighborhood in NYC and erase the black people who make up a huge part of the neighborhood is absolutely disappointing it would have been great if more of the main cast were brown to dark skinned afro latinos as well. it would have made the movie more groundbreaking and i felt like this was a huge missed opportunity. it makes me like the movie less. there is no excuse for erasing black latinx people. especially if you are making a movie about washington heights which has black latinx people EVERYWHERE. it’s really disappointing. there are literally so many dark skinned black latinx actors qualified for this movie yet they chose not to cast them. there were afro latinos in the movie but they were just sprinkled in the background here and there. we need afro latino representation in the forefront, not the background. i still think this movie is a huge step in the right direction cause we have never seen a movie with a latinx cast told in this narrative before and i think that’s great but we still have a long way to go when it comes to representation in the media.
100% Agree and idk why its getting down voted!! Plus Jon Chu & some cast members responses to that criticism was very disappointing. But like you said I think its more healthy to enjoy the film & representation that an underrepresented group is FINALLY getting. Yet still demand more from Hollywood, the studio, director, Lin & decision-makers to accurately represent the communities whose story they're telling.
More disappointed in Lin bc this has been a criticism of Hamilton and it doesn't seem like he's getting it. Love him and his work but we have to do better.
Can you explain the Hamilton casting thing to me? I've been seeing people mentioning it a lot all of a sudden, and it sort of confuses me since the casting choices were met with praise when it came out.
The approach & methodology has remained the same...but since the original cast moved on a lot of the principal roles (mainly on tour & now Australia) have often leaned towards lighter/more white-passing POC. Only 2 U.S. Elizas have been dark-skinned (Shoba - 1NT & Denee - Bway) other characters have similar issues. The entire new Australia cast is literally 1 shade!! Overall, The representation is there but POC come in all shades & Hamilton has consistently casted lighter POC in these roles since the OBC left.
Adding onto this, dark skinned rep is more of an issue with Broadway nowadays. The recent March on Broadway was partially about this.
melissa barrera pretty much said that afro latinos were not good enough for the lead roles. her comment was so ignorant
Do you have a link for this by chance?
Which is rich from her since I thought she was easily the worst actor in the movie. It’s especially not a good look for her and the movie since she is probably the most white-passing of the cast.
Also, if you're making a movie about the community of the Heights where are all the Jews? The Jewish community there is huge and LMM knows that better than anyone. I mean his mom taught at Yeshiva University for decades, you'd think he'd remember we exist.
Technically, this movie is more specifically about the blocks surrounding 175th and Audobon (it's where the bodega, salon, and car service are all located on screen)- aka East of Broadway.
All the Jews seem to live West of Broadway.
Edit: I was curious if this was a real issue people were complaining about and no, it doesn't seem like anyone really feels this way. [Like this piece by a Jewish writer says:](https://religionnews.com/2021/06/13/in-the-heights/)
>Second, “In the Heights” is not our story. It is the story of Dominican and other Latino immigrants.
I agree with that. Still I wish there were at least a few Jewish background characters. I know it's a Latino and Dominican story but not having us present at all feels odd.
Also want to be clear that this is not a value judgement. In the Heights is great and I'm glad these stories that are often looked over are being told. I just wish they hadn't taken out a different often overlooked story to do it. Even just background characters or an acknowledgement that the community is THERE would be nice.
> I just wish they hadn't taken out a different often overlooked story to do it.
But they didn't. It's absolutely not a movie or a musical about Jews, it doesn't claim to be about Jews, it doesn't offer a Jewish perspective, and it doesn't comment anything about them.
Do you have a problem with all the Israeli cinema that pretends that Palestinians don't exist or completely ignores the shared history of the region? I doubt it.
I do actually. When that happens (and it very often does) it's erasing the culture of the people who also lived there and have lived there. Why do you assume that me being Jewish means I don't care about Palestinians?
Also I'm going to clarify, In the Heights didn't so anything wrong by not having Jews but it felt off to me personally to watch it from a creator who interacted so much with the Jewish community and not see any. It didn't make a mistake and it wasn't Antisemitic, I just would have loved to see it.
> more latina
Do you even realize how racist this is? You are literally saying she isn't dark enough for her identity to be valid in your eyes.
So you think it's okay to invalidate a person's cultural identity because of the literal color of their skin. Wow.
Man you are backwards. Skin color and ethnicity are not the same. Being Latino is about being from one of a set of cultures, not fucking how much pigment is in a person's skin. I get not liking the word Latino because it artificially groups people based on language and geography, but that's not your asinine argument. She is not Latina because her skin is too light? What are we using for a reference for your new brown paper bag test?
You don't understand what Latina means. Latina has NOTHING to do with skin color. Never has, never will. Latinos have been trying to drive that home with people for years to avoid problems like people going "Are you *really* Mexican?" Stop being racist.
As a latino I think this is total bullshit. Knocking down how latino someone else because they're not as dark as you is as bad as any other racism. The differences in experiences can be appreciated but she is not less latino.
And it's a hilariously dumb argument to make when you consider that she has probably the most extensive career in Latin America of anyone in the cast. But yeah she's not latina.
You're just some dumbass racist troll.
latinx is not a racial designation lol you can be white and latinx. i think dark-skin representation in ith is an important conversation to have, but use your terms right
i literally said in my comment in wanted dark-skin rep but ok
I have so many questions applying to plot holes in the film. Mind you, I’m aware of the fact that the play has multiple differences when compared to the film. However, I don’t think that’s a valid explanation for some of my questions seeing as many people have not seen the play, and the movie stands on its own.
I loved the music and the dancing involved, but the storyline felt completely superficial. As a Latino, I felt like the writers tried to add every Latino slang/reference they found online. The characters were completely 2 dimensional and uninteresting besides the fact that they were attractive young people.
1) Why is Benny such a shitty friend/person? His first scene consists of him putting Usnavi down as he goes on about how he’s such a mover and a shaker when it comes to business. You work at a taxi company that’s on the verge of going out of business, and you’re only contribution to the business is reading traffic reports to the drivers. On the way to the pool, he brags about how he would go to business school with the lottery winnings and be just like Nina’s father. The fact that he has to be reminded about the taxes by Usnavi just shows that he literally knows nothing about finances. In addition, Usnavi mentions in the opening song that Nina’s father is super cheap, which is a well known fact around the neighborhood, yet Benny is completely oblivious and basing his aspirations on him. Speaking of Nina, he broke up with her because she was going to school out west, and he was completely ready for her to give up on her dreams when she was going through her crisis.
2) How does Usnavi not immediately recognize Abuleita’s winning lotto numbers? Usnavi is roughly 30 years old and most likely has been working in the same shop since he was a teenager. On top of that, Abuelita basically raised him. The same Abuelita whose personal motto is “Patience and Faith.” Basing this off of pure psychology and human behavior, it would make so much sense that the woman who constantly preaches on the virtues of patience and faith would consistently play the same numbers every time. She has faith that the numbers she picked (which more than likely have their own personal significance since she gives a whole speech about protecting the small details) would eventually hit, and she has the patience to wait until they do.
3) How does anything about Vanessa’s personal story arch make any sense? Her whole focus in the film is to secure her uptown apartment and finally make it out of the Heights. She constantly looks down on her fellow neighbors and dismisses their dreams when comparing them to her own. She leaves the leasing office disappointed when she realizes she doesn’t qualify for the apartment after all. They try to make it seem like it was an issue of race as the leasing manager blows her off to assist the white couple. Here’s where my issue comes in. Yes, she saved enough money for first and last rent plus whatever other fees were needed, but how in the hell was she going to maintain living there? The leasing manager mentions that rent is $3k a month. She sings in the salon about how she doesn’t make enough working there, so how was she going to afford the apartment after the first month? Not to mention food, utilities, and anything else she needs/wants. Even with the shop moving a 10 minute train ride uptown, I don’t see the clientele changing drastically, nor the tips. She didn’t have any big plans with her “fashion line”, so it’s not like she was counting on that to supplement her income. In fact, even mentioning she was a designer was pointless seeing as all she did was insist on selling a few pieces of clothing out of Usnavi’s shop. Mentioning she was a “designer” only serves the purpose that she’s a beautiful starving artist, so it makes sense that she wouldn’t have her shit together.
4) How does Usnavi not know that Sonny is a Dreamer? Sonny is roughly 15 years old while Usnavi is roughly 30 years old. He’s known him his whole life, and they brag about how close they are. Also, Usnavi preaches about his “suenito” constantly, which means he must have been talking/contemplating it for years. Sonny seems fairly familiar with this dream, so it stands to reason that this was a dream that came way before the specific timeframe the movie takes place during. Usnavi plans on taking Abuelita and Sonny with him back to the DR, but he never once thought about how he would get them all there? Not even Abuelia, who knows everything about everyone in the neighborhood, ever mentions this to Usnavi? For this to be his “suenito”, he sure hasn’t thought it through too much.
5) Why does the cleaners cost so much? I understand that the cleaners represents gentrification in their neighborhood, but the whole meaning is lost when you realize it’s a much older man who runs it. The fact that he’s white could reinforce the fact that he just doesn’t understand the neighborhood, but I feel like that’s such a cop out. As old as the man is, it is doubtful that he just randomly decided to open up a cleaners from scratch. More than likely, he’s been running the cleaners in a different location for years. With that being said, a business owner of his age and experience would most likely offer fairly competitive/reasonable prices that would fit the neighborhood he is now part of. If they really wanted to make a point about gentrification, they should have used a much younger shop owner.
I think I’ll stop here for now. Please let me know what you think.
Benny in the opening number is just showing swagger and gently roasting his good friend. People do this. I’ve listened to the cast recording for years, saw the stage version a few times as well as the film. He has never been putting his friend down in a malicious way. It’s like giving a sibling a hard time but god help the non sibling that might try to do the same thing.
Benny also aspires to be “richer than ninas daddy”, so doing better. I’ve always thought that line about the taxes was just to show how practical and in the weeds usnavi can be about stuff while surrounded by all these huge dreamers. Basically bennys got dreams too. He wants to be a mover and shaker but these are the parameters he’s working within.
I’m aware of what his intentions are with the lottery winnings. I literally stated that in my point. You didn’t offer another point of review or reasoning. You simply repeated the line from the song that I mention…
You are correct in the fact that there exist a large group of Dreamers who are completely unaware of their own residency, but this does not apply to the film. Sonny is completely aware when he mentions to Nina at the rally that he was aware of some of the limitations that exist due to his situation, but he was not aware of the college issue. It just seems very unlikely that a family which is so close would be completely unaware of Sonny’s situation. Especially when you consider the fact that Sonny is such an activist. It appears that activism is a big part of his identity through his speeches and marches with Nina when he was younger. As talkative and passionate as he is, it just seems unlikely that this would be the single thing he does not share with one of his closest relatives/friends.
How are point numbers 1 and 5 plotholes?
By definition a plot hole is an inconsistency in the character’s or story’s development that would most likely not work in any other circumstance.
Each point from 1-5 are merely examples of how the story doesn’t work logically. They make great emotional connections to the general public, but I feel like they were lacking in substance. The whole thing about Benny isn’t so much a plot hole; it’s more of character flaw issue. He brags about his aspirations for business and success, but he does little to understand or achieve his goals. If anything, his cockiness just irks me because it’s so obvious that it’s undeserved.
Benny's drive being underdeveloped doesn't strike me as a plot hole.
I'm not a regular user of this sub, but I wanted to share my thoughts on *In the Heights,* which I saw yesterday. I was looking forward to seeing it all day with my wife, because I saw the live action show years ago and loved it.
God damn was it terrible. What a disappointment. Where in the world do I start...
* I couldn't tell what the hell was going on in the movie, and the lyrics of the songs were all garbled. This is from someone who has already seen the live action version, I felt for my wife for whom this must have been a loud, colorful disjointed mess. It reminded me of the *Harry Potter* movies, in that even though I diligently read the books, I couldn't tell what was going at all when I tried to watch it on screen. The first 8-minute teaser I saw on Youtube was much better than what I saw in theaters. I would say maybe put some subtitles on screen like they will do in different countries, but the live action version didn't need any of that.
* The director took some artistic liberties with the source material that...made it worse. For God's sake, just take the story arcs from the live action and put it on screen, while adding your own directorial flairs. The characters all felt superficial and hollow. I **strongly** got the feeling that I was watching actors, playing a part and excited to be part of a Hollywood production so that they can make more money. I didn't feel the characters at all. To use one word to describe the entire story experience, I would use: **corporate**. The word was flashing in my head the entire time we were in the theater.
* The movie is TOO. DAMN. LONG. An hour in, I started looking at my watch. We walked out of the theater early, after an hour and a half, because the whole spectacle was so boring and corporatized.
* Some people aren't going to appreciate this last point, but I'm putting it here for the people that will. The social justice woke shit that was forced into the film was so *cringy*. The live action version was so great because it told a story, and wasn't a product designed to appeal to upper-middle class white America. When Usnavy started to name the "powerful Latina women in our culture", or whatever that shit was supposed to be, I knew something was badly wrong. Thank God the little girl he was talking to was able to add on another powerful Latin woman to his already irrelevant to the story list, right guys?
I want my money back. At the very least save yours.
I loved it so much, it was everything I hoped it would be.
(Though I'm still sad Inutil was lost.)
Loved it so much, I’ve already seen it twice!
What's up with the cell phones in 1987?!
The movie takes place in modern times. They reference John Wick, Tiger Woods, and DREAMers. Don't know where you got the idea it was 1987.
> The movie takes place in modern times. They reference John Wick, Tiger Woods, and DREAMers. Don't know where you got the idea it was 1987.
Which raises the point that if Nina's just getting back from her first year in college, and it's 2021, then she's almost certainly too young to remember the 9 train.
(Yes, that is the most nitpicky thing ever, and not a real criticism.)
In the “ xx days to blackout card, they mention the temperature- which looks like it is year … as ‘82 or ‘87 hence confusing. I thought it the first time too, also,… what is up with product placement - beats