High Strung (2016) is one of Netflix’s new movie releases. The plot is very simple: it’s rich girl meets poor boy but both are artists. She is a ballerina at a posh conservatory while he is a violinist peddling in subway stations of New York City. High Strung is another one of those movies where an unlikely group of teens band together to win a contest with a big cash prize. The main characters are Ruby and Johnnie who start a romance and share passion for their art. Ultimately, they merge their styles to win the contest.
The thing is the premise of the storyline is unbelievable from the start which can be off-putting. The struggle of Johnnie is unrealistic and unapparent. He is a British immigrant who doesn’t have a visa but lives in a lavish loft. His neighbors who form a struggling dance crew also do not seem like they lack riches as they also live in a studio.
It is important to consider that the leads are relatively newcomers Keenan Kampa (Ruby) and Nicholas Galitzine (Johnnie). Jane Seymour makes cameos as a dance instructor, she is the only recognizable actor in the movie.
One of the most irritating appearances is the snotty Queen B ballerina that comes here and there throughout the movie for no legitimate reason. This falls into the stereotypical formula in movies where there is often a character whose sole purpose is to undermine the good protagonist. It also reinforces the catfight trope where females are pitted against one another. These scenes feel totally out of place and do not serve the plot at all. It looks like the snotty ballerina appears only to try to add drama or angst to Ruby.
High Strung is a predictable teen flick that lacks coherence especially in terms of the protagonists socioeconomic background. Additionally, it doesn’t stray from the genre’s general formula, there isn’t much to look forward to except maybe the final performance.
I give it 2 out of 5 stars.