Hearts Beat Loud is a light drama set in Brooklyn New York, directed by Brett Haley and written by Haley with Marc Basch.
The story follows single father Frank (Nick Offerman) who is at a crossroads in his life.
His academically smart and musically talented daughter, Sam (Kiersey Clemons) is about to leave home and move cross-country for medical school, his vintage record store business is struggling and his aging mother (Blythe Danner) is showing the early symptoms’ of dementia.
When Frank uploads a song he created with his daughter during one of their regular home jam sessions, it looks like the latent pop star dreams of a middle-aged hipster could have an opportunity to see the light of day and tidily solve the issue of what he should do with his life next. But these are not the same aspirations his daughter has for her future. Sam has grown up and is impatient for her soon-to-be gained independence.
While Hearts Beat Loud includes all the necessary elements of contemporary life; the push/pull of love, family, friendships and letting go, it awkwardly falls just short of being a really successful mix in this film.
The story is propped up by the tentative romantic potential between Frank and his friendly landlord Lesley (Toni Collette) and the behind –the –bar wisdom of pot smoking neighbour Dave (Ted Danson.. of course, who else?).
Despite the inclusion of these two cinematic luminaries, the relationships between all the characters in this film could be better developed. One feels they are a bystander eavesdropping on snippets of a mildly funny conversation while in line for your morning coffee, rather than emotionally connecting with situations that are not only plausible but probable for many of us.
The music in Hearts Beat Loud is provided by Keegan DeWitt and plays a central role in the movie. Although unlike films that use song to further the story, Hearts Beat Loud could be described as a vehicle for a feature length music video, linked by enough dialogue to hold it all together…just.
In all it is an inoffensive film that is an easy, somewhat enjoyable watch, but won’t give the audience any radical new perspective on life – even with the inclusion of Sam’s same-sex romance. But maybe the introduction of films where we can view two girls kissing as…meh is really a sign within itself that our society is growing in a more tolerant direction.
Hearts Beat Loud is currently playing at cinemas around Adelaide.
Check out the official site here.
REVIEWED BY JO SCHOFIELD