The Greatest Hits

April 12, 202460/1005 min
Starring
Lucy Boynton, David Corenswet, Justin H. Min
Written by
Ned Benson
Directed by
Ned Benson
Run Time
1h 34min
Release Date
April 12th, 2024
Overall Score
Rating Summary

There are some who believe time travel is possible. I wholeheartedly agree with them because every time I hear a certain song, I am transported back in time to a moment associated with that song. For example, a love song that resonated with a girlfriend at the time; while the relationship may have ended, the connection between the song and her remains. Like many of us, Ned Benson has likely experienced this phenomenon, but unlike most, he decided to made a movie about it.

For Harriet (Lucy Boynton), she is experiencing something similar. Instead of simply bringing back memories, every time she plays a certain song, she is transported back to the exact moment she played that song with her boyfriend Max (David Corenswet). Needless to say, it’s jarring when it happens and only intensifies the grief she feels after Max’s untimely death. Harriet has learned to live with it, avoiding much activity and wearing noise-canceling headphones in public to avoid triggers. However, at home, she plays songs and pieces together a puzzle, hoping to find the song that will give her a chance to warn Max of the upcoming accident. Things become more complicated after she meets David (Justin H. Min) at a grief group meeting. Initially standoffish, Harriet eventually warms up to David and begins to like him. However, Max felt like her soulmate, so letting him go is not as easy as meeting someone new. Eventually, Harriet must make a decision, and when she does, will be the best for everyone?

Written and directed by Ned Benson, The Greatest Hits feels like a romantic comedy from the 90’s or early 2000’s. It ticks all the boxes to evoke that feeling, including the sassy, truth-telling best friend, lost love, and serendipitous encounters. While it can sometimes feel formulaic, which could have sunk the film entirely, it doesn’t pull away from the emotional moments or the charm.

The Greatest Hits may not strike all the right chords, but the movie holds a good tune. I really appreciated the story idea, using music as the key. While it’s not flawless, it still rises above average romantic comedies. Much of this is due to Boynton’s performance; Harriet is central to the story, and Boynton rises to the challenge. It’s her performance, along with the rest of the cast, that helps overlook occasional stumbles and underdeveloped subplots, as the high concept sometimes feels out of reach. However, the emotional core of the story remains intact, anchored by the performances. Ultimately, The Greatest Hits depicts the struggle of living in the past versus moving toward a future that may be music to many people’s ears.

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