The Greatest Hits Is a Painful Yet Wondrous Film

The Greatest Hits still of Harriet (Lucy Boynton) and David (Justin H. Min) standing next to each other in a record store.

The Greatest Hits drives home the importance of music in recalling the past.

The Greatest Hits is to other films dealing with loss. What if you could go back and prevent a tragedy? However, the connection through music builds something more and touches on how a particular song pulls listeners back to a moment in their lives. Here in the film, it occurs literally. The Greatest Hits weaves elements of love and loss with two magnetic performances filling any cracks. 

Written and directed by Ned Benson, the movie stars Lucy Boynton (ChevalierBohemian Rhapsody) as Harriet. It starts with Harriet nearing the second anniversary of her boyfriend, Max’s—played by David Corenswet (PearlLook Both Ways)—death. The loss altered her life, as evidenced by the countless ear plugs she has, not to mention she uses ear plugs and headphones wherever she goes, muffling as much outside noise as possible. The reason is that whenever she hears a song that recalls a moment of her past with Max, she returns to that moment. 

The Greatest Hits Paints the Struggle to Move Forward

It’s a sad truth that a lot of people measure the timeline of grief either by inexperience or their experience. Now, adding on top of it, Harriet travels back in time while everyone else believes it’s in her head, and it leaves room for abandonment. After all, most will not believe, accept, or be willing to wait for someone to process loss on their time. In addition, even Harriet’s one remaining friend, Morris, played by Austin Crute (Honk for Jesus. Save Your SoulBooksmart), tells her to move on. To top it off, a new love interest, David (Justin H. Min, Beef), challenges her to face the present. 

The Greatest Hits still of Harriet (Lucy Boynton) and Max (David Corenswet) holding each other.
Lucy Boynton and David Corenswet in THE GREATEST HITS. Photo by Merie Weismiller Wallace, Courtesy of Searchlight Pictures. © 2024 Searchlight Pictures All Rights Reserved.

A plethora of music, including some classics, appears in the soundtrack—even a hilariously memorable ad jingle. The Greatest Hits drives home the importance of music in recalling the past. In fact, it’s easy to sing along to some of the songs present in this movie. They are that contagious. Also, given how often characters mention the group, someone is a huge fan of Roxy Music. Still, its sound and lyrics fit the story wonderfully. 

Chemistry Between Two Leads Is Beautiful

The Greatest Hits tugs at the heartstrings thanks to Lucy Boynton and Justin H. Min. Through them, viewers laugh, smile, say “aww,” and fight back tears. They both give moving performances filled with warmth and sadness. It feels almost on par with the more comedic but emotionally charged My Left Eye Sees Ghosts. Lucy holds the story together through her acting, as even in the initial flashes of the past, it’s easy to see her pained expression underneath her smiles. Justin H. Min is a delight, showing a sweet deference that Lucy’s character needs. Throughout the movie, his character demonstrates care and consideration for Harriet. Truthfully, that care feels lacking in her relationship with Max.  

The Greatest Hits is sad, beautiful, heartbreaking, and hopeful, all within its 90-minute runtime. It’s a bittersweet movie worth revisiting for its cast, music, and story. It’s a great couple movie to hold hands. Plus, it emphasizes cherishing moments with loved ones, whether family or romantic. The Greatest Hits uses the nostalgia of music and a solid cast to pull audiences into a world of hope, love, and loss that feels magical and all too real. 

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