Hearts Beat Loud, which debuted at Sundance 2018, is a film about a father and daughter moving on, together - and set to a great soundtrack. Linda Jager is here with her Friday Film Review.
“When life hands you conundrums, you turn them into art.”
That’s my favorite line from Nick Offerman’s character Frank Fisher in the new indie comedy/drama Hearts Beat Loud.
The film follows a father and daughter – Frank, an aging hipster, former rock star and single dad and his brilliant and uber-talented daughter Sam (in an amazing performance by newcomer Kiersey Clemons) – during their summer of conundrums.
Sam finds love as she’s preparing to move across the country to study pre-med at UCLA, while Frank is struggling to keep his record shop open amid the rising rents in their trendy Red Hook neighborhood in Brooklyn.
Searching for some normalcy amid a sea of change, Frank encourages Sam to join him for a family jam session one evening. The musical talent in the Fisher family obviously runs deep, as both Frank and Sam master a variety of instruments, while also cranking out some amazing original music and lyrics.
Sam turns to song to sort through her feelings for her first love, Rose (played by Sasha Lane), resulting in a catchy single titled Hearts Beat Loud, as the father-daughter duo turn the conundrum into art.
Inspired - and unbeknownst to Sam – Frank uploads the song to Spotify and toys with the idea of booking a few gigs with Sam before she leaves for college.
A few days later while waiting in line at the neighborhood coffee shop, Frank is thrilled when he hears the song on the store’s playlist and rushes home to share the news with Sam – who is not at all impressed. She has absolutely zero interest in making her personal love song public or playing in a band with her dad.
Frank and Sam spend the rest of the summer trying to accept and embrace the imminent changes on their horizon. Frank has his hands full – caring for his aging mom Marianne (Blythe Danner), and negotiating with his landlord Leslie (played by Toni Colette) who is trying to make a deal to keep Red Hook Records open. Fortunately, Frank has a trusted advisor in his good friend and neighborhood bartender Dave (in a very funny performance by Ted Danson).
Hearts Beat Loud is directed by Brett Haley, and co-written with Marc Basch - the same team that brought Sam Elliot in The Hero to Sundance in 2017. Together, Haley and Basch craft a simple and heartwarming story that resonates with a diverse audience – parents, adolescents, hipsters and music enthusiasts included.
Rated PG-13 (for some drug references and brief language), and running 97 minutes, Hearts Beat Loud is a film worth watching and a soundtrack worth a download.
This is Linda Jager with the KPCW Friday Film Review, sponsored by the Park City Film Series.