Starring Tanya Davis, Stephanie Clattenburg and Stewart Legere
Often, ignorant people will write off a film they have not seen, simply due to the fact that it’s Canadian. Canadian films used to get a lot of undeserved flack, but thanks to the efforts of filmmakers like David Cronenberg, Xavier Dolan, and Denis Villeneuve, Canadian films have now been known as some of the most powerful in the world. The latest film from Nova Scotia-based filmmaker, Andrea Dorfman, sadly does not meet this new standard. Instead HEARTBEAT is a tepid and tiring effort.
After her stage fright causes her to faint during a live performance, Justine (Tanya Davis) decides to abandon music altogether. Without the inclusion of her true passion in her life, Justine finds herself lost. She is bored in her job as a data management copywriter (yes, this is a job) and continues to sleep with her ex-boyfriend Ben (Stewart Legere). To make it worse, she’s living in her grandmother’s old house, and even wearing her deceased grandmother’s bras. Justine just can’t find the right thing to help her get her groove back; that is until she meets Ruby (Stephanie Clattenburg), a fellow musician and possible love interest.
There’s nothing wrong with a film being cute; where we run into problems is when a film tries way too hard to be cute. The entire layout of Dorfman’s hipsteresque film feels awkward. From the lead character to the purposeless animation that pops up randomly throughout the film, not much works. Basically, Justine just isn’t very likeable, and everything else descends from there. Viewers simply won’t care if Justine stops sleeping with her boyfriend or buys her own bras, let alone falls into a new romantic relationship that could bring her back to life. I know I didn’t.