The Greatest Hits (2024)

by | Apr 18, 2024 | Movie Reviews, New On Streaming/Digital | 0 comments

The Greatest Hits explores both the sadness and the joy in the ability for music to transport people back to specific places in time. I’m certain everyone has experienced the phenomenon of putting on a song they love and feeling, if only for a moment, that they were back in time when they first heard it. Bringing a new dynamic to time-travel, The Greatest Hits takes things a step further and questions whether we can change our past while we’re back in it for that moment. The result is an above average romantic drama that focuses far more on the human condition than most films in its category.

The Greatest Hits

It’s been nearly two years since Harriet (Lucy Boynton) lost her boyfriend Max (David Corenswet) in a tragic car accident that she survived. Riddled with guilt and unable to progress in her life, Hariet finds herself sucked back into memories she shared with Max every time she hears a record they listened to. These events eventually lead Hariet to wear soundproof headphone in order to cut out any potentially harmful music in the world that could suck her back in to a memory while in public. Bridging a gap between the past and her present, Hariet sets off to find the record that could help her stop Max from being in the accident, however it doesn’t prove easy as she meets David (Justin H. Min) in her support group and sparks an immediate connection.

Written and directed by Ned Benson, The Greatest This is filled to the brim with the realities people face when dealing with grief and how consuming that feeling can become when you’re on your own. I was first introduced to Benson via his 3-part film debut The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Them/Her/Him which explored a dissolving relationship as a couple, and as both individuals to show what each person brings into their couple. It was a unique approach which Benson somewhat uses here as we learn more about Hariet’s relationship with Max and we see more of their dynamic up close. Humans have a funny way of remembering things and those memories becoming our realities, even if what happened wasn’t as great as we remembered. Dipping into the past for a few fleeting minutes allows us to understand what Hariet misses and if it’s enough for her to stop living her own life over.

The introduction of a potential love interest in the film didn’t take me by surprise, however I really enjoyed the role that Justin H. Min plays in helping pull Hariet back into her life. Dealing with a different kind of loss in his own world, his character David is soft-spoken but finds an immediate draw to Hariet. Rather than judging her for donning her headphones everywhere she travels, David instead attempts to understand Hariet and what she’s processing and brings some much-needed lighthearted humor to her world. Admittedly, he’s a bit awkward in his interactions but it works well because Hariet is very out of practice with most human interaction. The two have a beautiful connection that’s made deeper by their shared understanding of loss and knowing when to just be present for the other, rather than trying to solve their problems.

Among the factors leading me to watch this film, I was extremely curious to see David Corenswet in another film leading up to his 2025 debut as the new Superman. Having seen some of his TV and smaller film work I was excited to see what he’d bring to this semi-romance film, unfortunately the script had other plans for his character in the long run. The character of Max is just a memory and perhaps his limited engagement and energy is what builds towards Hariet allowing for other romance, but the performance was underwhelming because it never feels like it has anywhere to go. Corenswet is certainly handsome and plays the part of a 2-year boyfriend just fine, I just feel like he could have added a lot more depth to the story because he’s a talented actor that deserved a more fleshed out role.

The Greatest Hits makes for an entertaining and meditative viewing experience that ends up saying a lot about grief and a little bit less about love. I completely subscribe to the belief that music can be transformative and that in many ways it does take you back in time depending on your relationship with the song. Exploring that phenomena resonated more than I thought it would because we really don’t even realize how much music sticks with us and how great our brains can be at recalling things after just a single musical note. I’m happy to see Benson behind the camera again and I hope he continues to explore love and relationships through the lens he sees the world through. Mark this down for another solid Hulu streaming release to keep your eyes peeled for!

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