There are some things in life that will always be. Ice cream in summer, MacGyver will always escape and Fathers will always have a special bond with his daughter. Some things in life just aren’t questioned. Hearts Beat Loud is a story of that wonderful relationship and how they bonded over music and trying to move on from their past.
Record shop owner Frank Fisher (Nick Offerman) has been running his store for 17 years. With few sales and the rent increasing, he’s decided to close his doors. Struggling to come to terms with his big decision he convinces his daughter, Sam (Kiersey Clemons), to a jam session. But what happens in the jam session is pure musical magic and they set to recording the track.
The next day Frank uploads the song on a whim and hopeful Sam will take him up on his offer to create a band together. And to his surprise and great delight the song starts to go viral.
But while it’s all fun and games, reality doesn’t change. Sam still wants to move away for College, the record shop will still close and the band will only ever be a summer memory.
Nick Offerman (Parks and Recreation, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, The Founder) gives the most heartfelt performance where you’ll wish he was your Dad, or at least your drinking buddy. Offerman brings his comedic talents to the role but doesn’t overdo it. He really taps into a range of emotions from loss, love, passion and anguish. It’s a great contrast to that of his Parks and Rec role of Ron Swanson.
Playing the daughter of Sam is Kiersey Clemons (Little Bitches, Flatliners, Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising). And even though it’s pointed out in the film, Clemons can sing. Clemons navigates a rather tricky role as she is dealing with her first love, leaving home and finding a way to heal with the loss of her mother. She navigates it beautifully giving such a presence you’ll want to be bff’s.
The other big character of this film is the music. It’s what’s the entire film is based on and what ties it all together. It’s clever in that the audience is on the journey with the actors. Building a song from scratch, adding each layer and tweaking and trying again. The journey through the film is made so much more intimate for the viewer because of it.
One of the other stand out parts of Hearts Beat Loud is the setting. Filming was done in New York and based in Brooklyn. You can feel the love or passion for the area come through from the writers and Director. The buildings and streets, the people in the community, the views across the river and one of the most stunning is the converted brick storage buildings along the water. So much detail to make these scenes beautiful inside building and outside. It adds perfectly to this wonderful relationship these characters have with each other and this community they live in.
Overall Hearts Beat Loud is one of those films you’ve just got to see. It’s full of so much emotion and passion it’s leaves you thinking where it all came from. The beautiful father daughter relationship, coming of age, moving on from your past and the love for the place you live. All these things going on wrapped up with a musical storyline where the audience is part of the creation. It’ll leave you feeling content that things don’t always go to plan, so you just got to take it as it comes. And that’s ok.
Review by Jay Cook
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