HEARTS BEAT LOUD — Review by Susan Granger

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One-time singer/musician Frank Fisher (Nick Offerman) struggles to keep afloat, running vinyl record store in the Brooklyn’s hip Red Hook neighborhood and spending off-hours at Sunny’s pub with perpetually stoned bartender Dave (Ted Danson). Frank’s beloved daughter Sam (Kiersey Clemons), whom he’s raised alone in the years since her mother died in a bicycle accident, is diligently preparing to leave for UCLA as a pre-med major. Continue reading…

Mired in debt and facing an empty nest, Frank’s ready to move on, informing his landlady/potential love interest Leslie (Toni Collette) that – after 17 years – he’s decided not to renew the lease, closing down the store. But before she leaves for California, Frank wants to have another jam session with Sam, who reluctantly humors him, playing keyboard to his guitar. (The actors actually perform the electronic indie-pop, credited to composer Keegan DeWitt.) Continue reading…

Without Sam’s permission, Frank impetuously uploads their catchy, improvised song to Spotify, only to discover that it’s suddenly streaming. On the basis of that one song, Frank starts trying to book gigs for the “band,” even meeting with a recording guy who promises to “monetize this thing.”

That’s the gist, although subplots abound. Frank’s often forced to bail his Alzheimer’s-addled, shoplifting mother, Marianne (Blythe Danner) out of jail. And Sam unexpectedly becomes enamored with Rose (Sasha Lane), whom she meets at a local Dustin Yellin art show.

Allegedly inspired by an actual Red Hook record store run by Bene Coopersmith, this indie comedic/musical drama, focused on the father/daughter dynamic, is leisurely scripted by director Brett Haley and co-writer Marc Basch, as another low-key character-study like their previous collaboration “The Hero,” starring Sam Elliot.

On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10 “Hearts Beat Loud” is a subtly sensitive, sincere 7. This beat has heart.

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Susan Granger

Susan Granger is a product of Hollywood. Her natural father, S. Sylvan Simon, was a director and producer at R.K.O., M.G.M. and Columbia Pictures; her adoptive father, Armand Deutsch, produced movies at M.G.M. As a child, Susan appeared in movies with Abbott & Costello, Red Skelton, Lucille Ball, Margaret O'Brien and Lassie. She attended Mills College in California, studying journalism with Pierre Salinger, and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, Phi Beta Kappa, with highest honors in journalism. During her adult life, Susan has been on radio and television as an anchorwoman and movie/drama critic. Her newspaper reviews have been syndicated around the world, and she has appeared on American Movie Classics cable television. In addition, her celebrity interviews and articles have been published in REDBOOK, PLAYBOY, FAMILY CIRCLE, COSMOPOLITAN, WORKING WOMAN and THE NEW YORK TIMES, as well as in PARIS MATCH, ELLE, HELLO, CARIBBEAN WORLD, ISLAND LIFE, MACO DESTINATIONS, NEWS LIMITED NEWSPAPERS (Australia), UK DAILY MAIL, UK SUNDAY MIRROR, DS (France), LA REPUBBLICA (Italy), BUNTE (Germany), VIP TRAVELLER (Krisworld) and many other international publications through SSG Syndicate. Susan also lectures on the "Magic and Mythology of Hollywood" and "Don't Take It Personally: Conquering Criticism and other Survival Skills," originally published on tape by Dove Audio.