HEARTS BEAT LOUD – A Review by Cynthia Flores

HEARTS BEAT LOUD – A Review by Cynthia Flores
A sweet film about family staying connected through their shared musical passions.  Hearts Beat Loud is the brainchild of writers Brett Haley and Mark Basch.  Mr. Haley also directed it.  I’ve enjoyed both of his other feature films I’ll See You in My Dreams (2105) and The Hero (2017), so I was excited to see him take on such a “musical like” film.  No one breaks out in song and dance like on Broadway, but the music is a big part of the story.  By the way, all the songs and music are original and created by Keegan DeWitt who is a brilliant film composer and also is in the band Wild Cub.  The director has used him before on his other films, so it was a natural fit to have him do all of it for this film.  You'll probably want to download the soundtrack to this movie; it's that good.
Hearts Beat Loud tells the story of Frank (Nick Offerman) who’s a widowed single father raising his hard-working daughter Sam (Kiersey Clemons) in the hip Brooklyn neighborhood of Red Hook.  He's dealing with the stress of preparing to send off his daughter to college all the way across the country while dealing with being forced to close his vintage music shop.  His friend and landlord Leslie (Toni Collette) tries to throw him a lifeline and give him ideas and perhaps even a partnership to keep the store open but Frank doesn't want to compromise he'd rather shut it down then have to run it in a hipster fashion.
As Frank is dealing with all this change in his life, he clings to the weekly Jam sessions that he has with his daughter Sam.  During one of the sessions, they come up with a really good song that he secretly uploads to Spotify.  When it becomes a hit, he actually tries to convince her to blow off college for a year and go on the road to be in a band with him.
I won’t tell you the rest because I want you to go see this smart independent film for lots of reasons.  Not just the great performances by everyone involved or the upbeat music, but also because the movie doesn't treat the fact that his daughter is gay as a big deal.  When she finds somebody to care about, it's just part of growing up and not treated as something to overcome or to defend.  It just is.  It's so nice to see a film deal with that as just a fact of life and not something tragic.  Sam is also biracial because her dead mother is African American and her father Frank is Anglo, but they don't make a big deal of that either.  Again, it just is.
Hearts Beat Loud is great fun as we watch a father and daughter embark on a journey of love, growing up and musical discovery.  I give it a solid A rating.
Directed By Brett Haley
Written By Brett Haley & Marc Basch
Rated PG-13
Selig Rating A
Running Time 97 min
Comedy / Drama
Limited Release June 15th at Angelika Film Centers Dallas & Plano
Starring: Nick Offerman, Kiersey Clemons, Ted Danson, Toni Collette, Sasha Lane, and Blythe Danner
The Selig Rating Scale:
A – Excellent movie, well worth the price.
B – Good movie
C – OK movie
D – No need to rush. Save it for a rainy day.
F – Good that I saw it on the big screen but wish I hadn't paid for it.
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