We are not a band!
Director : Brett Haley
Cast : Nick Offerman, Kiersey Clemons, Toni Collette, Ted Danson and Sasha Lane
Those of you who have been on my site before will know that I don’t really review films that are released at the cinema, certainly not whilst they’re still in it at least, however, “Hearts Beat Loud” had such a limited release in the UK and at the time of writing only has 1,114 votes on IMDB, that despite having been out in America for a while.
So yeah, after struggling to find a cinema that was actually showing it in the UK, I eventually found a few in London and after going to watch Watford vs Sampdoria (football for people who don’t know what I mean by that), I made the trip to a Shepherds Bush based cinema.
So, was it any good and worthy of such a great cast, especially the ever enjoyable Nick Offerman?
Frank (Offerman) is closing his record shop to help support his daughter Sam (Clemons) as she prepares to move away to college, but he also believes that she is too focused and convinces her to have an impromptu session of playing music. During this time they record a song that Frank secretly adds to spotify. A few days later he hears it being played at a local coffee shop and realises that the duo have potential as an act.
With it being less than a week until she leaves she does start to write new music, all whilst Frank is preparing to close his store, rejecting an offer from landlord Leslie (Collette) to refurbish the store after he misreads her intentions.
Meanwhile, Sam has started a relationship with Rose (Lane) and that, combined with her increasing interest in music, might result in her not leaving afterall.
So was it worth the stress of finding a cinema that was showing it?
“Hearts Beat Loud” is a film that I was exceptionally keen to see and it struck me as a movie that could potentially finish in my top ten for the year, even potentially top, but I think going in with that exception meant that my perception was a bit blurred. It was not as good as I had hoped.
Now it is still a decent film, it is very watchable, fun and relateable, me stating that it was not as good as I had hoped it me stating that I would ultimately be disappointed if it wasn’t on that level.
As I say, I did like it and will probably buy it on DVD later on in the year. The soundtrack, as it should be for any film in which creating music is a major aspect, is excellent. Whether it be the songs that Frank and Sam create together, or the use of pre-existing music, this hits the right notes (pun fully intended). The songs are catchy and complete ear-worms. As soon as the film ended I went straight onto Youtube and listened to the soundtrack as I walked down to Shepherd’s Bush underground station, which is the sign of a decent experience musically.
Offerman is his predictably excellent self, portraying a relatively simple character with a complexity that reminded me a lot of a more care-free version of his most famous character, Ron Swanson. He and Kiersey Clemons are both superb and bring you right into their deep and changing father/daughter relationship. They were believable and that is something that I don’t often say about acts showing that relationship in films.
And finally, one important plot point that I have to commend is that Sam starts a lesbian relationship and her father is not only supportive, but doesn’t make a deal of it at all. It is so refreshing to see a film relationship with LGB (no, not LGBT as being transgender is not related to sexuality) themes that whilst they play an important part of the plot, are not really referenced by any characters, it is just there. There is no special forcing of it in either a positive or negative light and the movie just portrays it as what it is, a normal relationship.
Whilst not quite as good as I had hoped it would be, “Hearts Beat Loud” is still a very decent film and one of the easier “approved” stamps that I’ve given this year. Offerman and Clemons are magnetic on screen and whilst not an in-your-face film, that definitely works to the advantage.
The music is catchy and I wanted to listen to it again straight again, and whilst the film didn’t leave an overwhelming last impression, I was still impressed enough that I would like to see it again one day.
It’s not showing enough in the UK to seek out and make the trip to worth it, but if it comes on Netflix one day then I’d recommend a viewing.