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Film recommendations: Blockers and Hearts Beat Loud

Two light-hearted summer films which cover coming-of-age and parental discoveries, as teens and parents learn to readjust as the younger generation become adults.

The sun is shining, the world is opening up a bit, so I’m in the mood for a light and easy, joyous film. Here are two films which are light-hearted summer fun, and both include milestones which so many youngsters are sadly missing this year.

In Blockers, three parents (including Leslie Mann and John Cena) discover their daughters’ pact to lose their virginity on Prom night. They shadow the girls to the dance and the drunken after-parties, and do all in their power to prevent what they initially see as a terrible disaster. Fortunately, as they watch the smart daughters, who have a firm friendship and give each other empathic mutual support, they realise theirs isn’t the best parental approach and they must support the girls but leave them to navigate their own paths.

This funny, surprisingly moving, sex-positive comedy shows the parents realising their daughters need to move on from their home lives and discover their own sexuality and desires, separate from the older generation. It’s a big-hearted film with plenty of laughs and a brisk pace that subverts plenty of sexist and heteronormative tropes along its breezy 100-minute run-time.

Hearts Beat Loud is another tender and feel-good parent-daughter drama. Single dad and Brooklyn record store owner Frank (Nick Offerman, Parks and Recreation) is preparing to send his daughter, Sam, off to college in California. As music has always been their shared passion, Frank wants to turn their jam sessions into a legitimate band, but Sam is focused on her future.

With a stellar soundtrack, and a lovely portrayal of Sam’s relationship with new girlfriend Rose (who are allowed to exist without any of the usual misery that besets LGBTQ love stories on screen), this is a playful drama covering coming-of-age and the moving on of teens and their parents – and its tone lifts it from sweetness to a genuine delight.

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