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Hearts Beat Loud

Music runs in the family

Frank Fisher (Nick Offerman) stands behind the counter of his record store with the cool resolve of a man who realizes that the end is probably near. Music is his passion, and the store is his church. The problem is, these days it’s not attracting many worshippers.

If things had turned out differently, Frank might have been a rock star — and in middle age, he hasn’t entirely given up on that possibility. He still knows his way around a guitar, and his daughter, Sam (Kiersey Clemons), is no slouch as a keyboardist. In fact, she may be a more talented musician than he is. But her passion lies elsewhere.

Sam will soon be off to college, taking pre-med classes and trading her keyboard for a stethoscope. Frank is impressed that she plans to become a doctor, but he’s also a bit disappointed. Wouldn’t she rather be in a band with her dad?

Their relationship hits a bump when he uploads one of their songs onto the internet and it goes viral. Pumped up by that success, Frank gently suggests that Sam postpone college to see where the music leads.

Sam can make her dad’s dream come true. But will she?

“Hearts Beat Loud” is a refreshingly down-to-earth comedy-drama about family, ambition and the liberating power of music. The film plays as an unofficial sequel to “High Fidelity” (2000), in which John Cusack starred as a record-store owner who viewed rock as the ultimate religion.

Working from a screenplay that he co-wrote with Marc Basch, director Brett Haley (“I’ll See You in My Dreams”) engagingly traces the arc of the father-daughter relationship while deftly avoiding sentimentality. And he elicits fine performances from a splendid cast.

Offerman, best known from the sitcom “Parks and Recreation,” balances eccentricity and vulnerability as Frank, and Clemons (“Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising”) is poignantly introspective as Sam.

Few films rock as hard as “Hearts Beat Loud.”

Courtesy: Calvin Wilson, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

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Directed by: 
Brett Haley
Running Time: 
Nick Offerman, Kiersey Clemons, Ted Danson, Toni Collette, Sasha Lane, Blythe Danner
Official site: 
Screenplay by: 
Brett Haley, Marc Basch

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