Hearts Beat Loud
Hearts Beat Loud is just as upbeat and alive as its name. A true dramedy, it tells the story of a father-daughter relationship.
With his music store Red Hook Records in the red, single dad Frank Fisher (Nick Offerman) is just trying to get by. It’s hard work trying to juggle his ill mother (Blythe Danner) and a confusing relationship with his landlady (Toni Collete) while still focusing on his daughter Sam (Kiersey Clemons), who is set to study states away at UCLA.
Unlike most parents, Frank longs for his child to put aside her homework and medicine for a jam session. Impulsively, he posts their song on Spotify, and then hears it in a bakery. His excitement is contagious. Offerman can be expressive without saying a word. He portrays Frank convincingly as the often quirky but awkward father, looking on the verge of a midlife crisis.
As they say in the movie, “when life gives you conundrums, you turn them into art,” and that’s what this feature attempts; there is no grand conflict, just a series of “conundrums”, and the end result is slightly artistic. The film is light in plot, but heavy in characters, much like real life.
There are no inauthentic fights or instant fame, just the reality of a normal father-daughter relationship. This is one straight road; there are no twists and turns. Everything about the movie is believable, particularly the comparison of Sam’s lyrics to Backstreet Boys. It is a generic song, just not as catchy.
Rising talent Clemons shows that she is far from generic herself, being capable of portraying her character’s youthful naivety and also her intelligence. Even supporting cast members like Sam’s arty girlfriend Rose (Sasha Lane) contribute greatly. Writer and director Brett Haley manages to make the picture relatable to the whole family: the daughter who wants to escape, the father who wants to hold on to her, even the marijuana-smoking bartender (Ted Danson) who offers quality advice, like comparing life to alcohol – “you need to slow down to enjoy it.”
The movie is definitely slow. It is not a feature that will stay with you for weeks; it is more like something to be experienced in the moment which will be forgotten in a few days just like their song. But if you haven’t had your indie film fix for the year, then this feel-good hit is highly recommended.
Hearts Beat Loud is released nationwide on 3rd August 2018.
Watch the trailer for Hearts Beat Loud here: