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Hearts Beat Loud

Music runs in the family

Brett Haley’s Hearts Beat Loud is a truly sweet, funny, and downright likable comedy from the director of I’ll See You In My Dreams and The Hero. To me, this is Haley’s best film, his most character-driven, gentle, and ultimately moving – and includes some pretty kick-ass, well-written pop music. It’s also a film that couldn’t be more wonderfully cast. If you enjoy Nick Offerman, Toni Collette, Kiersey Clemons, and Ted Danson, this is a chance to hang out with them again – and even see Danson behind the bar again.

Poster for the feel-good music drama Hearts Beat LoudOfferman does his best film work to date as Frank Fisher, the owner of a Brooklyn record store. His daughter, Sam (Kiersey Clemons), is about to go off to college, but dad just wants to jam a few times before she leaves. They’re both musicians in their free time, and one night they co-create a truly excellent pop song. Frank knows it’s something special and wants to capitalize on it, putting it on Spotify and coming up with a gameplan that includes a world tour.

As excited as Frank is about these developments, Sam has some other things on her mind. Not only is she preparing for college, but she’s leaving her girlfriend Rose (Sasha Lane) behind when she does. It’s remarkably refreshing to see a young, multi-racial, lesbian character in a comedy in which her race and sexuality are never major plot points. This is just who she is, and her dad supports her. They are not just a family but friends, although Sam is about to leave, and Frank worries that she’s giving up an opportunity at true musical expression.

Creating art is often viewed as a solitary exercise by Hollywood, but Hearts Beat Loud is a comedy about emotional support and artistic joy – and we could use a few more of those.

– Brian Tallerico, rogerebert.com

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