'Heart Beats Loud' Review | CIFF 42

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“We’re not a band,” declared the medical school bound, Sam (played by Kieresy Clemson) to her father Frank (Played by Nick Offerman) who wants her to haul her college career at Stanford to stay back in Red Hook to start a band potentially. Who wants to start a band with their father in the first place? Definitely not a 17-year-old. But not every 17-year-old has Nick Offerman has their father. 

'Heart Beats Loud' follows Frank as he’s coming to terms that all his greatest loves are slowly disappearing one way or another. His mother is getting older, and he’s figuring out how to take care of her. He’s deliberating selling his record store he has owned for 18 years in Red Hook, Brooklyn. And the one thing he has left from his marriage is his daughter, who is preparing to attend Stanford across the country and is itching to be on her own. 

Music is the focal point of 'Heart Beats Loud' and connects the all the characters. Frank’s mother, Marianne (played by Blythe Danner) met Franks father at a nightclub after performing, Frank and his wife had a duo band and raised Sam around music, and Sam is discovering how to share her feelings towards a girl she’s falling in love with through music. 

After a night of the two creating a song together, Frank decides he and Sam should form a band and tour the city with the song they composed one evening. Relucted by the idea, Sam brushes it off, but in twisted faith, people are interested in their music, and the two must decide if they want to give up the record store, college and put effort into creating a career out of this sudden fame. 

Nick Offerman and Kiersey Clemons have great chemistry as a father/daughter duo of both caring and the awkward banter of being embarrassed by your parent and trying to remind them you’re growing into your own person. Director Brett Haley attended the Cleveland International Film Festival and shared with the crowd that the two played all instruments and Clemons performed live vocals during taping. The music is pretty good for a semi-musical film and could easily be a song you’d find on Spotify’s indie playlists. 

GRADE: B 

'Heart Beats Loud' premiered at the 2018 Cleveland International Film Festival. It opens in theaters on June 8.

Cast: Nick Offerman, Kiersey Clemons, Ted Danson, Toni Collette, Sasha Lane, Blythe Danner
Director: Brett Haley
Screenwriter: Brett Haley and Marc Basch