The Greatest Hits movie poster

The Greatest Hits

In theaters April 12, 2024

Rated

,

94 minutes

Directed by:

Starring: , ,

Music holds amazing powers. It can make us laugh and smile. It can make us cry. It can even transport us back in time – from our first kiss to our first breakup, from the first dance at our wedding to the last song that was playing before we lost a loved one. Writer and Director, Ned Benson (Black Widow), plays with this last concept and fuses it with a Back to the Future element in Hulu’s new romantic drama, The Greatest Hits.

Harriet (Lucy Boynton) is still mourning the loss of the love of her life, Max (David Corenswet), who was killed when the two were struck by another vehicle nearly two years earlier. Alive, but alone, a traumatic head injury from the accident introduced the ability to to travel back to various moments in their relationship when a song from their shared past is played. While a gift in many ways, allowing Harriet to relive happier times, she has used this newfound skillset every day since to try to save Max from the tragic crash. That gift unfortunately also turns out to be a curse though as songs prompt her to pass out when traveling back in time. Afraid of blacking out in public, she’s chosen to isolate herself by wearing noise canceling headphones to block out triggering music. And that isolation, despite friends and her support group leader, Dr. Evelyn Bartlett’s (Retta) attempts to help her move on, is met with little success. That is until she meets David (Justin H. Min). While most people are lucky to find one true love in their lives, Harriet has now found it twice. Slowly falling for David while still trying to save Max in the past, Harriet is forced to make a decision: continue chasing the past or live for the future.

Boynton brilliantly portrays what it is like attempting to survive each day when still so overcome with grief. Her ability to connect so personally with both love interests in the story is a testament to her acting ability. And Boynton’s love of music is apparent after previous roles in music-based films like Sing Street and Bohemian Rhapsody.

The Greatest Hits is Benson’s first big directing gig and he pulls out no stops in this romantic drama. His choice to have Harriet glitch each time she travels back in time helps the viewer separate a memory versus her attempting to change the past. His use of the “blown away guy” from the 1981 “Maxell Tape” advertising campaign adds a fun easter egg for devoted music fans. And while other movies like The Time Traveler’s Wife have played with a romantic time-traveling story, Benson’s script and direction provides one of the most original takes on time travel yet, and one that perfectly balances a story of both time travel and dealing with grief. Plus, at a tight 94 minutes, he avoids superfluous plot lines and characters.

The Greatest Hits begs the question of whether you would give up your past to save your future. A story of love, a story of grief, a story of the power of music, The Greatest Hits adds a new twist to the time travel genre in this adorable romantic drama.

The Greatest Hits premieres on Hulu on Friday, April 12th.

The Greatest Hits is streaming now on the following services:
Movie Reelist Contributor: Mark Eaton
Mark is an entertainment junkie, spending much of his leisure time watching movies, TV, or listening to any and all genres of music. Most evenings, after finishing a day of work and hanging with his wife and kids, Mark can be found in an eternal battle with his DVR, trying to clear it before another 5-6 hours of shows are recorded the next day. Still reeling from his unpaid gig for the Detroit News where he was fired for being too cruel with his American Idol recaps, Mark is thrilled to be sharing his wicked sense of humor with Movie Reelists.

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