If you love Once & Begin Again and treasure record stores & sweet summer romances, and have never quite appreciated how empathetic Nick Offerman’s eyes can be, and if you have ever been to Red Hook or have never been to Red Hook, and you need a tonic of hope & love to help you be brave in whatever way you need to be, you must watch Hearts Beat Loud.
Set in a part of Brooklyn that’s super hard to get to (unless you, like me, run there), Red Hook, the film tells the story of a single father named Frank, played by Nick Offerman, and his daughter, Sam, played by Keirsey Clemons, just before she’s about to leave for med school to fulfill her dream of being a doctor. One night during a j-a-m sesh, they create a song – a ditty that combines Frank’s rock sensibilities with Sam’s millennial tendencies and sweet voice. It holds for Frank the possibilities of a future he once had with Sam’s mother, but for Sam, it’s nothing more than just a little fun. Who wants to form a band with their father, anyway?
The film has an energy and a passion that’s sincere and earnest and just is itself. Yes, the story could have been more fully formed in some parts – it would have been great to have seen more of the friendship between Frank and the bar-owner Dave, played by the inimitable Ted Danson, and to learn more of what happened with Sam’s mother. But the little oversights can be forgiven for a film that has a heart as big as this one. And two young stars as talented as Kiersey and Sasha Lane. Director Brett Haley has created a little gem that won’t save the world, but it might just make you want to save your local record store. And for that matter, support your local bar and your local artists a little more. If you’re like me, it’ll also make you want to run to Red Hook more often!