Here's My Ranking Of All The Musical Numbers From The New "In The Heights" Movie
The rankings for the movie soundtrack are VERY different from the Original Broadway Cast Recording. 🚨SPOILERS🚨
A few months ago, I ranked all of the musical numbers from the In the Heights Original Broadway Cast Recording. Today, I do the same with the numbers from the film, with notably different results. (Note: mild spoilers ahead).
17. "Home All Summer" (feat. Marc Anthony)
Technically, this isn't even a musical number, as it's simply a bonus song on the soundtrack that seduces moviegoers and music lovers with Marc Anthony's presence. I listened to it once and probably won't listen to it again. It's fine.
16. "No Me Diga"
I have to be honest. My favourite part of the salon ladies was Carla, and while I adore Stephanie Beatriz in Brooklyn Nine-Nine, she lacks the innocent cluelessness conveyed by Janet Dacal. The performance as a whole isn't too different from the original; it just lacks the original Carla spark.
Quite honestly, this is what might be considered the musical equivalent of a filler-track. Despite this, Lin-Manuel Miranda's cameo makes it much more enjoyable. His vocals aren't anything particularly special (at least in the world of Broadway), but his charm is ever-present.
A favorite from the original cast recording, the mid-song dialogue in the film is a little stiff, and Usnavi comes across as a little slut-shamey. Despite this, the overlapping melodies and dynamic build make for an exciting and dramatic number.
13. "In the Heights"
The opening number allows for a fast-paced introduction to Usnavi's high-strung personality, as well as the vast majority of lead and supporting characters. My biggest complaint is the fact that the movie creators killed off Nina's mother on the drive to the theater to watch the movie, I distinctly remember listening to "Enough" and appreciating Camila's badassery. I guess it was so strong, the producers didn't know how to handle it.
Did I cry? Yes. Will you cry? If you have a heart.
11. "It Won't Be Long Now"
Melissa Barrera does a fantastic job at portraying the confident and ambitious (and sexy) Vanessa. The number doesn't stray too far from the original, but watching Vanessa strut down the streets of New York City and dismiss a variety of gross men made me want to be a better, cooler person. It's Melissa Barrera's world, and we're just living in it.
10. "The Club"
Listen. In the movie, Vanessa doesn't wear her iconic red dress and instead wears green. For that alone, I have complaints. Aside from this, it doesn't differ very much from the original and the dancing is hot af (pun intended).
When I was watching the film, there were certain key aspects to the story that I thought they'd changed until the very end, and I was extremely frustrated. Here, at the very last song in the movie, we find out about certain twists.
(SPOILER) Usnavi's realization that he's home is beautifully done, although I do wish they had kept the mural to be a painting of Claudia.
8. "Carnaval Del Barrio"
This number is a celebration of Latinx culture and really gives Daniela's character a chance to shine. You can't help but respect a woman who demands a proper goodbye (despite the fact that I don't think I could possibly sing and dance in the midst of a heatwave with no electricity).
This is one of those moments where the lyrical changes in the movie are a little too noticeable. Despite this, the musical number remains one of the most beautifully and tragically romantic songs of the show.
6. "Paciencia Y Fe"
The Cast Recording version? An insightful narrative on the struggles of being an immigrant in New York City. The movie version? All that, as well as powerful imagery that shows us how haunted Abuela Claudia (a vastly underappreciated character, imo) is by her past struggles. It's also a beautifully done exit where we say goodbye to the character.
(SPOILER ALERT) The filmmakers' decision to change the number to Claudia's final number before her last breath really makes it one of the most memorable moments of the movie.
5. "Benny's Dispatch"
One of my biggest concerns for this movie was how they could possibly fill Christopher Jackson's role as Benny. Jackson's ability to riff is like no other, and I regularly find myself swooning while listening to him sing in the Original Broadway Cast Recording. But Corey Hawkins DELIVERS. From his first note, I was so obsessed with his voice that when I got home, I immediately checked if he had any music released (sadly, he does not). Also wondering if he's single, just saying. That, as well as the fact that it's the first scene in the movie where we get to witness the chemistry between Nina and Benny, makes it a highlight.
This song is simply too beautiful not to be in the top 5. However, Leslie Grace's wistful performance as she chases down her childhood self makes it even more powerful. I will never not stan this song.
Arguably the biggest number of the whole show (the "You're the One that I Want" of the film), There's a little bit of everything and almost all of the characters are featured, including all of the Heights. The choreography is extremely impressive. It also makes me want to have a pool party.
2. "When You're Home"
This song is my baby. What I mean by that is whenever I listen to the original, I make everyone in the vicinity shut up so that I can swoon while I hear Benny sing, "Then can I say, I couldn't get my mind off you all day?" While Hawkins might not induce quite the same level of thirst during this riff as Christopher Jackson does, his performance, as well as Leslie Grace's, are still show-stopping, and makes the viewer root for their romance even more.
1. And lastly, "When the Sun Goes Down"
Guys, this was a surprise! I would have never expected this to be my top favorite, but Nina and Benny's chemistry is off the charts. When Benny looks into Nina's eyes right before kissing her, I was reminded that I have not kissed a man in many moons, and I became thankful that I'll be getting my second vaccine soon. When Benny leans back on the railing, I was terrified for his life until I realized that a world where people spontaneously burst into perfectly choreographed musical numbers is also a world in which people can walk vertically along a building, like Spider-Man.