Hearts Beat Loud ★★½


This is a curiously vapid movie, in the sense that anytime conflict could arise, the film short-circuits it, not so much to avoid a tonal rupture as to stay "nice." There is nothing messy here, nothing at risk. Hearts Beat Loud is overly tactful, and as a result it does certain things "right" with respect to race and gender. But it also nullifies the complications that those real-world categories can instigate in a well-rounded character's lived existence. Here we seem to have a movie that is liberal enough to feel as though it should tick the boxes, but also too liberal to be willing to get down and dirty. The resulting film is the ideational equivalent of dandelion fuzz.