Father daughter relationships are all the rage in popular culture. Whilst there are some that veer towards the negative aspects, there has always been a constant thread of friendship and alliances between good old Dad and his little girl. Even this past year has had oodles of them; Like Father, Eighth Grade, Leave No Trace, and more all focused on them. Heck, even Ant-Man and the Wasp’s strongest relationship is between Scott Lang and his adorable daughter Cassie.
Little indie film Hearts Beat Loud is perhaps one of the most endearing movies about a father and daughter.
Directed by Brett Haley, Hearts Beat Loud revolves around a music obsessed vinyl shop owner Frank and his young daughter Sam. The latter is just weeks away from college, moving from New York all the way to California to explore a whole new life. With Sam spending her days studying, Frank finds himself having to foreclose on the shop. When a wayward jam session turns into crafting a song, Frank uploads it to Spotify and soon, their little attic band becomes an unwitting popular tune. However, as Sam is eager to fly the nest, Frank is trying to tie her back down…
Nick Offerman, our legendary Ron Swanson, stars as Frank and it’s one of his most honest performances. There could’ve easily been a swing into the eternal grump here but despite his adoration for vinyl and old music collecting, Frank is also a big child – wishing the play and mess around with his daughter whilst he still has time with her. Offerman really produces a great amount of humanity here; glimmering wide-eyes as he shares his passion of music with his daughter and trying share that shred of connection despite her clearly moving forward and growing into her own. Offerman plays this role with many endearing qualities that makes him both father, friend, and fumbling fool.
Kiersey Clemons as Sam is a marvellous young actress. She inhibits that particular brand of adolescent offish-ness that shoves a wedge between her and her father. Despite being a talent artist, Sam wants more stability and is training to be a doctor; her realism off-sets her father’s over-enthusiasm perfectly. Sam also has a gorgeous relationship with Sasha Lane’s Rose. They are open, honest, endearing, and it’s incredible to watch on the screen – the pair sparking off with wonderful energy.
Hearts Beat Loud is just lovely. Offerman and Clemons have this great familial chemistry, the music is wonderful, and there’s fantastic support from Toni Colette and Ted Danson (who is truly aging like a fine wine.) Hearts Beat Loud may only fluster because it is an indie tale we’ve seen before. It has all the quirks and sparks of all a James Carney type movie with all the brilliant original music too. It’s comfortable , and that may stop it from spinning off into deeper emotions here.
Yet still, Hearts Beat Loud ripples and beats with such awesome tones that by the final third, you’ll be swept up in its impossible charm.
Hearts Beat Loud is out in cinemas now!