Directed and co-written by Brett Haley, “Hearts Beat Loud” isn’t exactly a coming-of-age musical, but still uses music as a vital part of its storytelling. As a father and daughter (Nick Offerman and Kiersey Clemons) write and play songs as a fun thing to do together before she heads away to college, she also embarks on a fizzy, freeing romance with a girl named Rose (Sasha Lane).
In his review for The Times, Kenneth Turan wrote, “[E]nergized by Offerman and Clemons, the effectiveness of the music and the emotional freshness of ‘Hearts Beat Loud’ are finally triumphant. Sometimes wearing your heart on your sleeve is the only way to go.”
Tre’vell Anderson spoke to Clemons and Lane about the film and the offhanded ease with which it deals with issues of diversity and representation. Asked when she first saw herself reflected on-screen, Lane responded, “Is it really … sad that maybe ‘Hearts Beat Loud’ was the first time that I actually saw myself? I can choose other things that I’ve done but I don’t know anything else that I connected with me on every single level.”
At the Village Voice, Ren Jender celebrated the film’s love story, noting, “Clemons, who played the soft butch Diggy in ‘Dope’ and Lane, who is also in the upcoming ‘The Miseducation of Cameron Post,’ are both out, queer women of color. In their characters, we see the unalloyed joy and relief in having found one another that some of us might remember from our own queer first loves.”