Written by Tristan Olav Torgersen Hearts Beat Loud
Images courtesy of the Official Website
Father’s Day is one week past, and yet you may want to call your dad again after seeing this movie. Why? Well, first to realize that your dad is not Nick Offerman, but that’s ok. Second because you love him even though you don’t always see eye to eye. And third because Hearts Beat Loud will make you want to start a band with him.
(Disclaimer: for the sake of the world we live in, I will note that not everyone has a father, has a father but no relationship with them, their father has passed, has had two mothers, or any number of other situations. Know that this does not mean that you are left out, merely substitute any mention of ‘father’ with whomever fills a fatherly role in your life.)
Hearts Beat Loud is a film starring Parks and Rec alum Nick Offerman and relative newcomer Kiersey Clemons, along with a supporting cast including Toni Collette, Sasha Lane, and Ted Danson. Writer-director Brett Haley and co-writer Marc Basch deliver a great script and story that is as engaging as it is fresh. The gem of this film is its music though, and we have Keegan DeWitt to thank for that. So Keegan, really. Thank you.
Nick Offerman is the goofy, hippy-shaped, and hip musical father, Frank Fisher. Kiersey Clemons is the driven child, hellbent on getting into UCLA Med School, Sam Fisher. The interplay between the actors feels genuine, their problems are relatable, and their musical abilities are enviable. Again, Keegan DeWitt, you delivered the right music for these actors and it’s amazing.
Now, is Hearts Beat Loud perfect?
Of course not! If I said it was, most of you would click away and not read any further. Yet, what it lacks or misses is minor in comparison to the film as a whole. Yes, at times it feels like it drags a little bit. Yeah, a few story arcs feel disjointed and confusing especially with Toni Collette. Ok, maybe Ted Danson as a Hawaiian-shirt-wearing-bartender feels like he is just playing himself on vacation, AND I’M OK WITH THAT. Again, minor in the context of the rest of the movie.
Haley and Basch (the writers/director) take you through the formation of each major song in the movie. You see how Sam is facing the real emotional challenges of a young girl in love about to move across the country for school. She is leaving New York City, her home and the only place she’s known. The movie allows you to hear and see influences on future songs, like when Sam is listening to “Your Best American Girl” by Mitski. I really enjoyed that aspect since it makes clear that music isn’t usually written on the spot out of nowhere, but out of experiences and influences.
This movie is as much about the music as it is about family. It is as much about family as it is about love. This triple threat can steal away from making one or the other topics as impactful, but I like the variety myself. One of the best parts is, the movie is GROUNDED IN REALITY. Yeah, you heard that right. Reality.
It isn’t a movie about a father-daughter duo putting out a song and being signed to a record deal after one song and riding off into the sunset. Instead it has such real life themes as: The Struggles of Entrepreneurship and Brick and Mortar businesses, Parenting after a Spouse has Passed, Unrequited Love, Indie Music, Choosing Between Dreams, and so much more.
Enough of reading this though!
Find a theater near you and see Hearts Beat Loud!
And for those of you who want to hear the music, check it out below.
I know…you want more info on it, well here you go:
Rotten Tomatoes, if you’re into that sort of thing.