“Shut up! I’m not crying, you’re crying!” That might be you if you’re the kind of person who’s afraid of squirting out a few during a movie, which is a very real risk with Brett Haley’s wonderful Hearts Beat Loud. Frank (Nick Offerman) is the owner of a record store in Brooklyn’s Red Hook neighborhood that is going out of business thanks to that pesky internet. Worse, his daughter Sam (Kiersey Clemons) is preparing to start pre-med at UCLA in the fall. She’s losing interest in their weekly jam sessions, and has always resisted his attempts to start a band together.
But when one of their songs becomes a hit online, both of their potential futures begin to change in unexpected ways. Much like Haley’s previous film The Hero — which featured Offerman in a supporting role — Hearts Beat Loud deals with themes of aging, adapting to new technologies, and troubled relationships between fathers and daughters. But it simultaneously feels less familiar yet more universal, and there also may not be a more joyful moment this year than vinyl-aficionado Frank’s reaction to hearing his music on Spotify. And while The Good Place arguably got there first, Haley manages to put Ted Danson back behind a bar! Hearts Beat Loud’s pleasures are many and varied.
Opens Friday at the Embarcadero Center Cinema.