(2021) (Anthony Ramos, Leslie Grace) (PG-13)
- QUICK TAKE:
- Musical: Residents of a New York neighborhood deal with a summer heat wave and increasing gentrification that's pushing them out.
In the New York neighborhood of Washington Heights, nearly 30-year-old Usnavi (ANTHONY RAMOS) runs the neighborhood bodega with his younger cousin, Sonny (GREGORY DIAZ IV), as his only employee. Usnavi immigrated to the U.S. as a kid with his now late parents, only to be raised by Abuela Claudia (OLGA MEREDIZ), a Cuban immigrant who stood in as the surrogate grandmother figure to him and others.
His fondest memories from his earlier childhood are those at his father's beach bar in the Dominican Republic, something he's considering possibly buying and reopening. Even so, he's currently interested in but can't quite act on his attraction to Vanessa (MELISSA BARRERA) who works at the local hairdressing salon for Daniela (DAPHNE RUBIN-VEGA) alongside Carla (STEPHANIE BEATRIZ)) and Cuca (DASHA POLANCO) but dreams of breaking of being a fashion designer.
Increasing rents are not only affecting Daniela who's planning on moving her shop to the Bronx, but also Kevin Rosario (JIMMY SMITS) who runs a cab service but has been selling parts of that to pay for his daughter Nina's (LESLIE GRACE) college education. But with her feeling like an outsider at Stanford, she's dropped out -- but hasn't told her dad -- and returned home where she's reunited with her former boyfriend, Benny (COREY HAWKINS), who works for her dad as a dispatcher.
With a heatwave increasing, the residents go about living their lives and chasing their dreams.
- WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
- If they enjoy movie adaptations of Broadway musicals (and especially the one on which this film is based) they probably will.
- WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG-13
- For some language and suggestive references.
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