Friendo: You’re going to absolutely hate In The Heights (Warner Bros., 6.10.21).
HE: Why will I hate it? I like the energy in the trailers. Obviously more part of our world than West Side Story.
Friendo: I think you’ll hate it, but who knows! It’s a woke jerkoff fest.
HE: Do you like musicals?
Friendo: I like old musicals like Singin’ in the Rain and The Band Wagon. This is a hip-hop musical
HE: I like good rhythmic hip-hop.
Friendo: There isn’t really a villain in the movie. If anything, the antagonist is “gentrification”.
HE: Okay, so it worships native flavor, identity, neighborhood. Sounds fine to me.
Friendo: I don’t think I saw a single white person. There must be some white people living in Washington Heights, no?

Friendo #1 responds: “In the Heights is fine…exuberant, soulful, compellingly staged. Plus the story of Dominicans or whatever with one foot in each country is valid and moving.

“Okay, it might have worked even better on stage; I’m not sure that they totally overcome the (intentionally) anecdotal structure of it. But any ‘it’s too woke for my blood!’ complaints seem bizarrely misplaced.”

Friendo #2: “It’s about as traditional as movie musicals get — a lot of musical numbers interrupted by lightweight plotting designed to move easily to the next tune. There is even a Busby Berkeley homage here.”