On the most obvious level, this is a genuine crowd-pleaser; it’s also so thin that you can practically see through it. Nick Offerman plays Frank Fisher, a widowed one-time musician now running a Brooklyn record store, facing an impending empty nest as his daughter Sam (Kiersey Clemons) prepares to leave for college in California. Then the song that they record together gains traction on Spotify, and Frank has visions of a family band. Co-writer/director Brett Haley (I’ll See You in My Dreams, The Hero) clearly loves low-key, adult-appeal character studies, and Offerman shows range as a doting dad trying to recapture a part of his life that seemed long-lost. But nearly everything here—except Ted Danson, glorious as a stoner bartender—is so wispy that it threatens to evaporate before your eyes, including love interests for both Frank (played by Toni Collette) and Sam (Sasha Lane). Virtually all the energy the movie can muster goes into the original songs, which are catchy enough to convey that the characters have talent. It would have been nice to transfer more of that passion to when characters were talking, rather than singing.
Director: Brett Haley
Producer: Houston King, Sam Bisbee, Sam Slater, David Bernon, Paul Bernon, Franklin Carson and Theodora Dunlap
Cast: Nick Offerman, Kiersey Clemons, Ted Danson, Sasha Lane, Blythe Danner, Toni Collette, Quincy Dunn-Baker and Alex Reznik