Starring: Anthony Ramos, Corey Hawkins, Melissa Barrera, Leslie Grace, Jimmy Smits, Olga Merediz, Daphne Rubin-Vega, Stephanie Beatriz, Dascha Polanco, Gregory Diaz, Marc Anthony, Lin-Manuel Miranda
OUR RATING: ★★★½
Musical drama directed by Jon M. Chu based on the Broadway musical. In the Heights (2021) is set in the Washington Heights in New York City and focuses on a bodega owner, Usnavi (Anthony Ramos), who has mixed feelings about closing his store and retiring to the Dominican Republic after inheriting his grandmother’s fortune.
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Our Favorite Quotes:'Start small. Dream big.' - Kevin Rosario (In the Heights) Click To Tweet 'A dream isn't some sparkly diamond we get. Sometimes, it's rough. And it's not so pretty.' - Usnavi (In the Heights) Click To Tweet
Iris: What does sueñito mean?
Usnavi: Sueñito? It means little dream.
Sedo: That’s it? No story?
Usnavi: It’s the story of a block that was disappearing. Once upon a time, in a faraway land called Nueva York, en un barrio called Washington Heights. Say it, so it doesn’t disappear.
Kids: Washington Heights!
Piragua Guy: Ice-cold piragua. Cherry, strawberry, and just for today, I got mamey.
Benny: [singing] I’m making moves. I’m making deals. But guess what?
Benny: [singing] you still ain’t got no skills.
Usnavi: “El Sueñito.” Pop’s little dream.
Usnavi: I’ve been saving up all my pennies in my piggy bank for this day.
Alejandro: Yeah. On these blocks, you can’t walk two steps without bumping into someone’s big plan.
Usnavi: Mine was a quaint little sueñito. If I made it back to the Dominican Republic, then we retained our roots. But Nina Rosario’s dreams were all about reach. Spelling bee champ,
valedictorian, managed her dad’s business, and basically she was like a little sister
to me. Girl was a rocket, determined to go far.
Sonny: They’re talking about kicking out all the DREAMers. It’s time to make some noise.
Usnavi: Abuela Claudia never had kids, so she adopted the whole block as her own. Adopted our sueñitos too.
Abuela Claudia: We had to assert our dignity in small ways. That’s why these napkins are beautiful. That’s why my mother’s gloves were beautiful. Little details that tell the world, we are not invisible.
Nina Rosario: The reality of an elite school, it’s no joke, Pop. Yeah, when I left, you all were like, “It’s going to be great. Go show them who we are. Go represent.” The truth is, is that most of the time I’m at Stanford feels like a betrayal.
Kevin Rosario: De verdad? Of who?
Nina Rosario: Of my family. My community.
Kevin Rosario: [to Nina] There’s no shame in waiting tables. And there’s no shame in having a different path. Like you.
Kevin Rosario: [to Nina] You don’t tell me how much we can afford. You’re not the parent. Hm?
Abuela Claudia: You think it will be different in the Dominican Republic? Just like my mamá. Morning and night, year after year, to what end? To wake up and scrub another floor till the day she died.
Usnavi: Yeah, but here I work to survive. El Sueñito will be a labor of love.
Usnavi: You’re just a kid. You don’t even know. For real. Dominican Republic’s going to blow your mind.
Sonny: Look. You do you. It’s all good. But don’t be roping me into your thing.
Usnavi: Best days of my life were there.
Sonny: That’s the corniest thing I’ve ever heard. You came here when you was eight. You got “island memories”. Not me. I was in Pampers on that plane. NYC’s my spot. I got my island, okay? Go get yours. Don’t forget how you got your name.
Usnavi: On my dad’s first trip to Nueva York, he saw a passing ship on the horizon. And he was like, “Wow, that’s going to be my son’s name.”
Daniela: Our people survived slave ships. We survived Taino genocide. We survived conquistadores and dictators. You’re telling me we can’t survive the D Train to the Grand Concourse?
Usnavi: Vanessa, tough as nails. Dreamed of being a downtown fashion designer. To her, a sueñito was something you keep a secret.
Sonny: My cousin over there, with his tongue hanging out, has been meaning to ask.
Sonny: What a lady like yourself would be doing this weekend.
Vanessa: Does your cousin dance?
Sonny: Like a drunk Chita Rivera.
Usnavi: The point is not who won, but that we all had a sueñito. And when it comes to dreams, we had to keep scraping by.
Kevin Rosario: You know, my first business, I was, like, seven or eight.
Daniela: You know what? Every time you tell the story, you’re a different age, and you get younger, and younger, and younger.
Kevin Rosario: Start small. Dream big.
Nina Rosario: When you came here, and mom came here, you all had a Latino community ready to welcome you, open arms, babies and abuelas, and teachers and lawyers, first generation, fifth generation. There’s no community for me at school.
Kevin Rosario: You’re the best we’ve got, Nina. If you can’t stay in the ring, what is that going to say about us?
Nina Rosario: You can’t keep putting your life’s work on my shoulders, dad.
Nina Rosario: [referring to Stanford] I’m not going back!
Kevin Rosario: So all of my decisions can just go to hell here? I’m doing this for you!
Nina Rosario: No, you’re doing it for you!
Benny: Look, I might not have a job tomorrow, but I still got one tonight, Nina.
Nina Rosario: Let it go.
Benny: I can’t.
Vanessa: It’s creepy quiet. Usually, the One Train’s up there, screeching.
Usnavi: Yoh, I was thinking, there’s so much stuff going on. And all it just got me thinking about is like all the people I care about the most. And I just thought about you.
Vanessa: You’re about to change zip codes. Country codes, actually.
Usnavi: Yeah, but that’s not till August. I mean, you know, we got time.