A widowed, ageing hipster father (Nick Offerman) and his studious daughter (Kiersey Clemons) start writing songs together in the summer before she leaves for college, in a musical that has superficial similarities to John Carney’s vastly superior Once. And it’s remarkable just how grating this perkily inoffensive premise manages to be.
The music they create together is emblematic of the central problem. It’s sterile, manufactured and utterly fake production-line pop masquerading as some kind of indie rock spotify sensation. And the emotional beats here are every bit as cynical. Father and daughter still grieve the wife and mother who died 10 years before in a cycling accident. But it feels inauthentic and contrived; a sad-faced emoji of a plot device. It’s all the more disappointing because Clemons (who broke out in Dope) is a gifted young actor and singer who deserves a more challenging role to showcase her undeniable talents.