By Daniel Barnes
*Opens Friday, June 15, at the Landmark Embarcadero in San Francisco and the Landmark Shattuck in Berkeley.
Another snuggly non-movie from co-writer and director Brett Haley (I’ll See You in My Dreams and last year’s The Hero), this time about a sad sack struggling to connect with his teenage daughter. As widower Frank Fisher (Nick Offerman) prepares to shutter his musty Red Hook record store, his distant daughter Sam readies to study pre-med at UCLA. Her plans become complicated, for lack of a better word, when one of their father/daughter jam sessions accidentally produces a Spotify hit, while she falls hard for an artist played by Sasha Lane of American Honey. Offerman is as likable as ever, but it’s asking a lot for him to carry a film, especially one without an ounce of urgency in the narrative. Seriously, the “conflict” in Hearts Beat Loud comes from Sam being forced to choose between two wonderful situations. Much of the script feels copy and pasted from previous Haley efforts, including the burnout best friend who shuffles in every now and then to drop stony bits of wisdom (Ted Danson plays the part here, although Nick Offerman was the stoner friend in The Hero), but the delightful Kiersey Clemons is a revelation as Sam.