Hearts Beat Loud is a colourful indie pop film about a father (Nick Offerman) and daughter (Kiersey Clemons) with a shared love of music. When they record a track together – under the name We’re Not A Band, reflecting the daughter’s reticence – fame and fortune briefly beckons.
This isn’t one of those films of unlikely underdogs becoming heroes, however. Reality intrudes, in the form of the daughter, Sam’s, med-school studies and the father, Frank’s ailing mother. It’s a more realistic take on musical semi-stardom, recognising that prime placement on a Spotify playlist doesn’t translate to instant millions.
Still, part of me wishes that this was one of those underdog films. Hearts Beat Loud’s most joyous moments are Sam and Frank jamming together, or Frank excitedly skipping home from the local café after hearing their first song – “Hearts Beat Loud”, of course – tinkling from speakers overhead. The realities of, say, dementia aren’t quite as alluring.
There’s an undeniable charm to the film nonetheless, even in its quiet moments. Whether it’s Sam bonding with her girlfriend (Sasha Lane) or Frank shooting the shit with his stoner mate (Ted Danson, back playing a bartender), Hearts Beat Loud sings like the most endearing pop music.