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You might need a sweet tooth for this gentle, Hornbyesque drama from writer-director Brett Haley. But it’s a likable heartwarmer and very decently acted.
Stalwart character player Nick Offerman steps up to a lead role as Frank Fisher, a slightly grumpy guy who runs an old-fashioned vinyl record store. He’s a widower and his daughter Sam (Kiersey Clemons) is heading off to college soon to study medicine, leaving Frank with imminent empty-nest heartbreak. He also has to deal with his elderly mother Marianne (Blythe Danner), who has incipient dementia.
Frank used to be in a band with his late wife, and he still nurses wistful dreams of making it in the business, and regularly persuades Sam to jam with him because she has a really good singing voice. It’s an embarrassment Sam submits to because she can’t bear to upset him – though she wants to be a doctor, and anyway a daddy-daughter duo is unthinkably lame. Then, without telling her, Frank puts a song of theirs called Hearts Beat Loud on Spotify and, well, guess what …
There is a nice moment when Frank is miserably lining up at the coffee shop and hears his song being played: Offerman cleverly portrays his muted astonishment and suppressed euphoria. The always excellent Toni Collette gives this film some sinew in her supporting role as his landlady, and Clemons is gentle and tender in her portrayal of Sam.
Haley’s script rather adroitly finesses the question of how successful their hit song has to be. Successful commercially? Or successful in resolving the unvoiced emotional issues of grief that lie between father and daughter? It’s a film with unassuming indie charm.
Source: The Guardian
Keyword: Hearts Beat Loud review – warm indie drama | Film