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  • Writer's pictureLiz

Hearts Beat Loud

A feel-good jam session of a movie.

Streaming on Hulu | 2018 | PG-13 | 1h 37m

reviewed by Liz


Genre: Independent, Music

Why We Watched: I went to see this gem last June when it played at our local independent cinema, where I've learned to see what's screening. There were two movies to pick from: Hearts Beat Loud or Leave No Trace (on Prime), both of which I'm just now realizing are father–daughter movies, so maybe there was a Father's Day theme going on? Anway, I went with the former: I love Nick Offerman and I love Toni Collette and the trailer was adorable. It seemed like the perfect summer movie then, just like it does now! (And, confession, I am irrationally terrified of getting lost in the wilderness, so Leave No Trace was not on my personal What-To-Watch List...)

You Might Also Like: Have you seen Juliet, Naked (on Hulu), another independent feel-good, musically inspired movie? Annie (Rose Byrne) is stuck in a longterm relationship with Duncan (Chris O'Dowd), who is obsessed with under-the-radar grunge rocker Tucker Crowe (Ethan Hawke at his Kurt Cobain-est). When Annie writes a scathing review about Tucker on Duncan's fansite, the two call it quits—but a surprising email reply from the musician reminds Annie that life is full of second chances. Kind of the hipster version of You've Got Mail, except not ✉️.


Frank is basically nailing the shade of every record store owner ever.

I am fully here for summer, y'all! I've got my vacations scheduled. The sound of neighborhood kids playing flashlight tag in the alley is my new lullaby. And I'm spending every spare moment by the pool. But while this is definitely the season of relaxation, summer is also the season of transitions. Do you remember those months after high school graduation, for either you or your kids? From one school year to the next, we all get a little bit older. But there's something about that big moment—the heading off to college moment—that seems to really mark the end of one season of life and the beginning of the next. 

In Hearts Beat Loud, single dad Frank (Nick Offerman) and his daughter Sam (Kiersey Clemons) are spending their last summer together before she leaves for UCLA. But that's not all that's changing. Frank has to sell his record store, a Red Hook, Brooklyn, establishment. The store has been a part of the neighborhood for years, but with increasing rents and an influx of yuppies, his small business is no longer sustainable. It's time to let go.

That doesn't mean that he's ready to forget his love for music altogether, though. Or his pipedream of forming a father–daughter duo with Sam, his very talented daughter who would rather be studying anatomy than jamming in the garage with her dad. "You've been trying to start a band with me since I was, like, twelve," she groans when Frank tries to convince her they have a shot at making it. 

Despite her protests and her pending move to California, Frank uploads their song "Hearts Beat Loud" to Spotify and... Well, you'll just have to watch to see what happens next! This movie is quiet and unassuming and a pure delight. In an age when almost every cultural object seems to have an agenda, this film is a breath of fresh air. I literally can't think of a single person who *wouldn't* thoroughly enjoy it!

If you're not already convinced, here are a few additional selling points for Hearts Beat Loud: Toni Collette sings karaoke. Ted Danson plays a Brooklyn bartender.Sam's summer romance with art student Rose (Sasha Lane) is swoon-worthy 💛.The song "Hearts Beat Loud" will totally become a welcome earworm. The film got great reviews when it came out last summer, although it was truly independent so it didn't have the kind of marketing money to jettison into mainstream theaters. (If you're thinking, "How did I miss this?" that's how!) And while director Brett Haley hasn't done much, he does have in his pipeline the adaptation of one of my favorite coming-of-age novels, All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven. If Hearts Beat Loud is any indication, I fully expect the next work to be just as joyfully heart wrenching.Hearts Beat Loud is a warm story of remembering the past and moving forward, of the transition between parenthood and friendship that happens as children move into adulthood, and of music. The music of life and of love. 

Happy streaming! This one is truly a joy to watch.

xo,  Liz

Young summer love. It's short and it's sweet and it means so much, just like Hearts Beat Loud.


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