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Arts and Entertainment Monday, Jul. 2, 2018 1 year ago

'Hearts Beat Loud' lacks vigor but has its toe-tapping moments

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A killer score keeps Brett Haley's somewhat endearing film afloat.

"Hearts Beat Loud" is a story about love and the creative process between a widowed father and his daughter. The drama lies in the fact that he's gung-ho about starting up a band together, but she has alternative plans for her future. 

Nick Offerman plays Frank, whose musical career never quite took off. Describing himself as "a purveyor of pressed vinyl," he's also unsuccessful at running his record shop, soon to close. His daughter, Sam (Kiersey Clemons), is about to leave New York bound for California to attend medical school. 

As the film opens, Frank is begging Sam to "jam sesh" with him, obviously something that they used to do on a regular basis. Reluctantly, she agrees, they jam together and unbeknownst to Sam, Frank records their session and submits it to Spotify (online). It unexpectedly goes viral and he wants the two of them to become a band. She emphatically wants to be a doctor.

Throughout the entire film, Frank tries desperately to convince Sam to change her mind. He believes that, "when life gives you conundrums, you turn them into art." And throughout the film, Sam constantly gives him the "seriously?" look. The repetitive reactions from both Frank and Sam, frankly, become annoying. 

Photo courtesy of heartsbeatloudmovie.com

Brett Haley ("Hero") directs and co-scripts this somewhat endearing film with a killer score that keeps it afloat. The songs are written by Keegen DeWitt and performed by the actors. And they're both amazing. He also throws in a strong supporting cast, which includes Ted Danson, Blythe Danner and Toni Collette. They manage to spice up a script that lacks zip. Some flirting and awkward charm weaves its way through the story, but the film could have used much more.

"Hearts Beat Loud" is a pleasant little toe-tapper and not a bad waste of time. But watching and enjoying two people jamming, who are obviously having a blast at doing so, just doesn't cut it.

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