Hearts Beat Loud appears to be a simple story about a father and daughter as she prepares to leave for college. It seems simple, but it’s actually emotionally intricate and complex. Like some of the music in this film, it’s complicated while seeming simple. It’s perfectly written and acted. It’s a wonderful movie. I give it all the stars.
When I started to watch Hearts Beat Loud, I knew it had Nick Offerman and Kiersey Clemons. As the scenes rolled by I realized it also has Toni Collette, Sasha Lane, Ted Danson and Blythe Danner!!!! Some very nice surprises in this cast.
The film was about Frank (Offerman). It was about his love of music, his dreams of having a band, and his love for his family. He was a single dad with a record shop selling vinyl. He was going out of business.
Equally important was Sam (Clemons), the daughter. She was on her way across the continent to UCLA to go to medical school. She had musical talent oozing out of every pore in her body. Kiersey Clemons is outstanding here, in both acting and singing.
Blythe Danner played Frank’s mother. She was starting to have a few problems with her memory but was still a force.
A lot of things happen in the days before Sam is to leave for college. Frank’s landlady (Toni Collette) might have a thing for him. He might have a thing for her, too.
Frank’s buddy, the bar owner (Ted Danson), offers sensible advice about life and dreams. (I know; it’s Ted Danson behind a bar again. But better. And possibly stoned.)
Sam falls for a new girlfriend, Rose (Sasha Lane). She is wonderful and makes Sam want to stay home. The song she writes about Rose with her dad called “Hearts Beat Loud” becomes a hit on Spotify. When Frank realizes that the song Sam is writing is a love song he first asks, “Do you have a girlfriend?” before he asks, “Or a boyfriend?”
Sam’s answer is, “A girlfriend.” Sam and Rose have a very sweet young romance. It may not last forever, but as first loves go, it’s a great one.
Frank wants to write more songs and be a band. Sam says, “We’re not a band,” which is the name Frank gives the band on Spotify. You can hear the soundtrack on Spotify. The music feels written on the spot, in that moment.
This film is filled with interesting characters. What the supporting characters lack in lines of dialog and time in front of the camera, they make up for by the fact that they are brilliant actors creating something that feels real.
The themes of family, love, and life’s choices are grounded and affirming. This feel-good magic was written by Brett Haley and Marc Basch, and directed by Brett Haley. Haley also directed The Hero with Nick Offerman and I’ll See You in My Dreams with Blythe Danner.
I watched the film on Hulu. It’s also on Prime Video and some other streamers.
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Watch the trailer
Have you seen this film? Did you love it as much as I did?