“The High Note,” a romance drama starring Tracee Ellis Ross and Dakota Johnson, will skip its planned run in theaters and instead debut May 29 on video-on-demand.
Focus Features, the specialty branch of Universal Pictures, is releasing the film, which was initially scheduled to open May 8. “The High Note” will be available to rent for $19.99 for a 48-hour period on most on-demand platforms, including Amazon, Apple, Comcast and Fandango.
“The High Note” is the latest in a growing line of titles that had been scheduled for theatrical release prior to the pandemic and are opting for VOD instead, with production companies unsure when theaters might reopen.
Set in the dazzling world of the LA music scene comes the story of Grace Davis (Tracee Ellis Ross), a superstar whose talent — and ego — have reached unbelievable heights. Maggie (Dakota Johnson) is Grace’s overworked personal assistant who’s stuck running errands, but still aspires to her childhood dream of becoming a music producer.
When Grace’s manager (Ice Cube) presents her with a choice that could alter the course of her career, Maggie and Grace come up with a plan that could change their lives forever.
Tracee, who is the daughter of legendary singer Diana Ross, said this is a role she really wanted.
“This is a movie that I chased,” Tracee said. “I wanted this role so deeply, that I chased it! I chased it! Because Grace Davis is a singer. She is a big music icon and this role meant that I … get to sing.”
Since the movie is about a singer, of course the movie is bound to include songs and live stage performances of said songs. Here’s the thing — there’s no lip syncing involved because Tracee sang all of her own songs!
“Whether consciously or unconsciously, as a kid, somehow, I took that dream of mine to sing and I hid it. I hid it away [and] I got so scared to sing that it became this dream that I was afraid of. At 47 years old, I faced that dream and I sang.”
Tracee recorded six songs for the film soundtrack, which is set to be released online on the same day the movie is released.