Alexis Lloyd’s ’30 Beats’ – Review

Justin Kirk ("Adam") stars in Lionsgate Home Entertainment's 30 Beats.

10 New Yorkers. 3 Summer Days. 30 chances to explore their sexual awkwardness.

Alexis Lloyd‘s 30 Beats (2012) is one of those annoyingly long and meandering films that would have done very well as an indie short. The film is based on the play La Ronde (1987) written by Arthur Schnitzler, which originally scrutinized sexual morals and ideologies of the day. Just as in the play, 30 Beats features a group of characters experiencing a series of risque sexual encounters that mildly transgress into sexual deviance and promiscuity in a sexual what go around come around that literally for lack of a better word–fail.

In the three days of summer and in a very temperate New York, Adam (Justin Kirk) is ask to “do it” by Julie (Condola Rashad) as to lose her virginity from an “experienced” man she knows. Thereafter, Adam is struck with a bit of bad luck–he is unable to “function” with a series of female sex partners–in a failed attempt to depict Adams’ sexual exploits in a Michael Fassbender‘s Shame’esq sort of way. He decides to seek out a psychic medium Erika (Jennifer Tilly) who in one way or another manages to get him back functioning again and she in turn, sought out the male escort Diego (Jason Day) to sate her. Then Diego is infatuated with Laura (Paz de la Huerta), and she attracted to her chiropractor (Lee Pace) and tries to seduce him, and he in turn, tries to seduce his ladyfriend Kim (Vahina Giocante) and so on and so forth.

An inconsistent circle of love and desire.

Paz de la Huerta ("Laura") stars in Lionsgate Home Entertainment's 30 Beats.

The complete problem with this film is the lack of character development. Each character and the events surrounding them lacked the necessary appeal to rationalize nonsensical behaviors as intended drama, proving that in a film, that pretty much encompassed the on screen version of a booty call, it must have the right amount of substance even satisfy a holistic cinematic experience. It isn’t enough to drop these people in the ideal of sexual intimacy without someone connecting the story or without making an emotionally supportive connection between characters, thereby creating an emotional obligation to carelessly run from one bed to the other.

Regardless of the superficial nature in which these characters sought out intimacy, there could have been so much more that could have been done to bring this film full circle. Perhaps focusing on a couple as friends–in The Big Chill (1983) sort of way; and if these “friends” wanted to explore each other bodies then we would have a foundation for anger, desire, jealousy all wrapped into a massive orgy of breakups, hurt feelings, and maybe even reuniting a pair of former lovers. Something more than just falling into bed with this one and that one.

30 Beats overall result was a damming waste of time.

Source Roadside Attractions

30 Beats
  • Editor Rating

  • Rated 1 stars
  • Really Bad

  • 30 Beats
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  • Last modified: 2012-09-28

Review Summary:

30 BEATS follows ten characters drawn into a complex ring of love and desire, each one caught beyond his or her control in a chain reaction of seduction, impulses and self-discovery.

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