Saturday, May 12, 2018

Hearts Beat Loud (2018)

I saw this independent music-based movie the other night as part of Sound Unseen's presentation at the newly expanded/renovated Trylon Cinema in South Minneapolis.

Good, feel-good movie.

Synopsis (attempt):
Nick Offerman is Frank, a widowed Record Store Owner and musician and his (gay) daughter Sam, played by Kiersey Clemons is to be a Premed student halfway across the country at UCLA in the Fall (they live in NYC).

But naturally Sam has interest or talent with music, keys/synths/samples, lyrics and Vocals, kind of reluctantly.

Frank realizes he has to close his record store and find another line of work in order to find a way to pay for Sam's financially aided tuition at UCLA.

Sam and Frank write some songs together that are really good actually, but it seems like a short-lived for the short-term musical collaboration as Sam feels it's absurd she would be in a band, or even if she was, with her dad, even though they actually do know how to write good music together.

But it's not practical long term like UCLA, etc.

Misery loves company, or rather Misery creates great/beautiful art/music.

Sasha Lane's character Rose plays a good support for Sam both as a friend and romantically.  She even teaches her to ride a bike, which we find out in a subtle way, how her mom dies is related to riding a bike. Why Sam never learned to ride a bike, etc.

Ted Danson plays the owner of a little tavern/bar (I know, ironically of course per Cheers), and he helps Frank as barkeeps can, etc. His character is a lot different than Sam Malone though; instead of Women, his vice is doing dope in Woodstock, lol.

Toni Collette and Blythe Danner add more element to Frank's and to a lesser extent, Sam's situation.

I enjoyed this movie quite a bit. Especially in a compelling-story-about-family-and-music sort of way.

And while Animal Collective, Spoon and Tom Waits get mentioned/included in some ways, I am happy that in Frank's record store The Red Chord, we get a lot of visible coverage to The Beach Boys (Pet Sounds among maybe 1 or 2 others), and of all albums Grace Under Pressure from Rush, hehe. It's shown among a few others in 3 or 4 scenes.

Also I think "We're Not a Band" is a hilariously fun name for a band, although I'm sure there will be more than 1 band with that name that will pop-up now if they haven't already from seeing this movie.

That and the 4 songs written by Keegan Dewitt are rather good. Which reminds me of other music-based feel-good dramedy movies over the last decade: Once (2007), Begin Again (2014) and Sing Street. (2016) Which the director/writer Brett Haley mentioned at least Once as inspiration (along with movies like High Fidelity and That Thing You Do among others).

It kind of makes me wonder if these Music-Based Independent Films are a new genre of movie in the 21st Century. Sort of the heartfelt little-engines-that-could. And everyone of them has been good with good (original) songs.

Someone should make a compilation of songs from all 4 of those movies:

Once: Falling Slowly, When Your Mind's Made Up, If You Want Me, Lies

Begin Again: Lost Stars, Coming Up Roses, Tell Me if You Wanna Go Home, No One Else Like You, Like a Fool

Sing Street: Drive It Like You Stole it, The Riddle of the Model, Up, A Beautiful Sea

Hearts Beat Loud: Hearts Beat Loud, Everything Must Go, Blink (One Million Miles)