Hearts Beat Loud: This Beat Has a Heart 

This fine musical comedy slides across the palate like a perfect midsummer bourbon punch, maybe with a zest of orange or lemon.

Most movies this year have either gone down like a highly caffeinated jumbo soda (Solo, Incredibles 2) or a bruising shot of rotgut (Deadpool 2, Oceans 8). Hearts Beat Loud, though, slides across the palate like a perfect midsummer bourbon punch, maybe with a zest of orange or lemon tossed in. While so many overpriced but underperforming films continue to land like duds at the megaplexes, this small-budget respite (coming in at $2 million) hits all the right notes.

For starters, Hearts Beat Loud stars Nick Offerman, the man who nearly stole every episode of the long-gone but never-forgotten NBC sitcom Parks and Recreation. That’s reason enough to give Hearts Beat Loud a try, right? Offerman’s deadpan is near genius, and we get more than a taste of that here as he plays flannel-wearing, chain-smoking Frank, the harried proprietor of a hanging-by-a-thread record shop.

“You can’t smoke in here,” a customer snaps at Frank in Frank’s own store

“Buy something and I may put it out,” Frank shoots back.

The customer walks to the curb, takes out his smartphone and returns a few seconds later.

“Guess what dickhead? I just bought an album on Amazon,” he yells.

A short time later, Frank’s daughter Sam (Kiersey Clemons) complains that her dad reeks of cigarettes.

“You may be smelling my new Axe body spray scent. It’s called ‘brothel,’” he says.

Absent a life partner (his wife died in a tragic bicycle accident 12 years earlier), Frank adores his daughter, who is counting down the days to when she leaves their Brooklyn, New York, home for California, where she’ll attend college with hopes of becoming a doctor. Their lives are at dramatically different crossroads, but when a harmless father-daughter ritual of home-spun jam sessions—Frank plays a mean guitar and Sam has a gorgeous voice—yields an uptempo love ballad that lands on Spotify (the duo calls itself We’re Not a Band), Frank and Sam’s lives take a big turn. Don’t try to second-guess this story, though. A smart script from director Brett Haley and co-writer Marc Basch (The Hero) takes the story somewhere entirely different from the direction you may suspect it’s heading.

The music is great - it's a fair bet that you'll be downloading it from iTunes or streaming it on Spotify on your way home from the theater—Offerman and Clemons are superb, and co-stars Toni Collette, Ted Danson and Blythe Danner are along for the ride.

Hearts Beat Loud
Rated PG-13 · 97 minutes · 2018
Official Site: www.heartsbeatloudmovie.com
Director: Brett Haley
Producer: Houston King, Sam Bisbee, Sam Slater, David Bernon, Paul Bernon, Franklin Carson and Theodora Dunlap
Cast: Nick Offerman, Kiersey Clemons, Ted Danson, Sasha Lane, Blythe Danner, Toni Collette, Quincy Dunn-Baker and Alex Reznik
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