September 4, 2018  (Web Review)

Hearts Beat Loud

Gunpowder & Sky, 84 min., PG-13, DVD: $14.99, Blu-ray: $19.99, Sept. 11

Reviewer rating: 2.5/4

Onetime singer-musician Frank Fisher (Nick Offerman) runs a vinyl record store in Brooklyn’s hip Red Hook neighborhood when he’s not at Sunny’s pub hanging out with stoned bartender Dave (Ted Danson). Frank’s beloved daughter Sam (Kiersey Clemons), who Frank has raised alone since her mother died, is preparing to leave for UCLA as a pre-med major. Mired in debt and facing an empty nest, Frank is ready to move on, informing his landlady/potential love interest Leslie (Toni Collette) that after 17 years he’s decided not to renew the lease, and is closing down the store. But before Sam heads for California, Frank wants to have one more jam session with her, and she reluctantly humors him, playing keyboard to his guitar. Without Sam’s permission, Frank impetuously uploads their catchy, improvised song to Spotify. On the basis of that one song, Frank starts trying to book gigs for the “band,” even meeting with a recording guy who promises to “monetize this thing.” That’s the gist of Hearts Beat Loud, although subplots abound: Frank is often forced to bail his Alzheimer’s-addled, shoplifting mother (Blythe Danner) out of jail; and Sam unexpectedly becomes enamored with Rose (Sasha Lane), who she meets at a local art show. Director Brett Haley’s low-key character-study is leisurely paced, but also sensitive and sincere. A strong optional purchase. (S. Granger)