Short Version: A father and daughter form an unlikely songwriting duo in the summer before she leaves for college.
Full Story: The film Hearts Beat Loud is a father-daughter tale that takes place in Red Hook, Brooklyn, about an unlikely songwriting duo that bid their farewells respectively — as Frank (Nick Offerman) closes his record store and Sam (Kiersey Clemons) heads off to college.
The father, Frank (Nick Offerman) possesses a very particular set of skills. Unfortunately for Frank, his skill set mostly involves retail music sales, which makes him reliant on the tiny handful of people—even in trendy Red Hook, Brooklyn, where he lives and works—who still 1) buy albums and 2) don’t seek out cheaper deals online.
Red Hook Records, which seems to be the last on the brink of extinction of vinyl record stores, is due to close its doors and its owner Frank has his sights set on creating music as opposed to selling it. His daughter Sam, who wants to pursue a medical degree at UCLA, has inherited the musical gene she shares with her father, but her plans don’t quite align with Frank’s as she’s reluctant to experiment with musical beats and lyrics as her oddball father is. While Frank’s head is in the clouds with dreams of becoming a pop star, Sam has her head in the books as she preps for her freshman year in med school.
As a young man, Frank had cut an album of his own, but his career never went anywhere; he still noodles around on various instruments (guitar, bass, drums) in his spare time, though, and has passed his love of music on to his only child, Sam (Kiersey Clemons), a talented singer who sometimes joins him in impromptu jam sessions. What if they were to form a band together? Granted, Sam’s about to fly across the country to attend UCLA, where she plans to study medicine. But is that really so important? Wouldn’t she rather stick around and help Dad belatedly realize his lifelong dream? Especially considering that Frank’s landlord (Toni Collette) recently raised the store’s rent, forcing him to close up shop.
Sam’s mother was killed in an accident when she was a child. Her mother was also in a band with her father Frank. Some of the anguish and resentment that Sam herself feels towards music at times, does stem from the loss of her mother. However, this doesn’t stop her from making sweet music with her dad with the title track “Heart Beats Loud” which Frank secretly uploaded on Spotify without Sam’s knowledge, where it immediately, without any apparent promotion or effort, lands on a playlist so high-profile that Frank randomly hears the song playing at his local coffeehouse. Likewise, it’s hard to swallow the visit Frank subsequently receives from a label rep interested in signing We’re Not A Band (yes, that’s what they call themselves) for a record deal…
Read other reviews here