Vahina Giocante and Lee Pace in "30 Beats"

Vahina Giocante and Lee Pace in "30 Beats" Credit: Vahina Giocante and Lee Pace in "30 Beats"

30 Beats
1.5 stars
Directed by Alexis Lloyd
Starring Justin Kirk, Jennifer Tilly, Paz De La Huerta
Rated R

"30 Beats" is a cinematic anthology featuring diverse, good-looking New Yorkers and their sexual encounters during a heat wave.

That sounds like a fun time at the movies, for a certain audience at least. But it's really a torpid experience.

Writer-director Alexis Lloyd's movie is less a sexy take on the love lives of city residents than a cinematic relay race.

The movie follows a deadening formula in which a character will be introduced and share a sexually-charged scene with someone else before the perspective shifts to that second person, as if a baton has been passed.

So, because we spend at most a handful of futile moments with the characters before we're sent on to the next one, none of them matter - not Adam (Justin Kirk) or Erika (Jennifer Tilly); Laura (Paz De La Huerta) or Sean (Ben Levin), or any of the others that pop up for a moment in the sun.

They're props in what's essentially a lame screenwriting exercise, albeit one with some expressive cinematography.

There's no depth to their interactions and nothing in the way of a perceptive, timely exploration of the sex lives of modern day New Yorkers.

And for a movie that's centered on the bedroom, Lloyd is strangely resistant to eroticism.

Lloyd's characters talk and talk and talk some more, but the sex takes place almost exclusively offscreen. So, really, what's the point? 

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