No, that’s not your telephone ringing, but a couple of times during the course of Heartbeat, the one in Jon Dough’s ritzy Malibu pad trills and you’re half-tempted to answer it.
Good THX Pacific Bell isn’t the sole reason for enjoying this brisk, finely constructed, unpretentious adult film, however. The sex is playful, the camera advantageously captures the rich shades of a southern California winter, the performances are delivered wryly, and director/writer Spinelli sucks you pleasantly into a subversive ending which belies the direction the film is taking you.
Along the way, score another human drama triumph for writer Spinelli and a top notch reading for Dough who plays a womanizing louse with convincing narcissistic remoteness. Characteristic of pop psychology’s “dance away lover,” Dough loves his women “as wide as the ocean” except that he also leave them as high and dry as the Great Sandy Desert.
No sooner has Dough boinked current girlfriend Barbara Doll in a zesty Jacuzzi love fest, than he comes on to pretty waitress Selena just minutes after telling pal Jake Williams over a bottle of wine how wonderful Doll is. Whether he’s a methodical jerk or simply an overly misguided romantic who’s lost his roadmap, Dough soon has his day in court. Speeding along Pacific Coast Highway with self-impressed abandon, Dough nearly plows into a homeless person, played artfully by Joey Silvera, who carries these initial moments on his shoulders in the best pantomimic traditions of Buster Keaton.
Attacked with an instant rush of karmic conscience-raising, Dough, for better or worse, throws the doors of his hacienda open to Silvera. He’s got one thing on his mind – redemption. Dough believes that if he can perform nobly once in his life, all the bad will be instantly erased like one of those magic writing pads. Hastening Dough’s internal philosophy and mental rehabilitation are flashbacks of lost lover Isis Nile, who delivers quite an emotionally convincing registration in her brief time on the screen. Another flashback produces a pretty eye-involving flesh romp between the two ill-fated lovers.
Meanwhile, Silvera is helping himself to Dough’s lifestyle, particularly house groupie Kaitlyn Ashley. Ashley appears to have a thing for the solitary confinement-look and helps scrub Joey into a near-semblance of hygienic normalcy. The resulting bathroom/tub scene is delicious eye candy for butt lovers with Joey also delivering a fluid and gymnastic transition from the missionary to the cowgirl position. Try that on your hips and back, sometime.
A party/celebration for Joey prompts a four-way among revelers Brick Majors, Jake Williams, Stacey Nicols and Cody O’Connor. Williams locks Nichols on his groin in a reverse cowgirl; Majors goes the canine route with Cody. A switch of partners precedes the pop shots. Joey begins to assume Dough’s clothes, and as the final straw, Dough’s women, when he nails Annabelle Dayne, poolside, with an excruciatingly delicious missionary-anal insertion.
At this juncture Dough’s fate is left in the hands of forces beyond the grasp of his material existence and wealth. You may agree with its resolution, or you may strongly debate it; nevertheless heartbeat delivers a cogent message with an entertainingly droll sense of punctuation.The Spinelli era of great filmmaking returns with this heart-felt look at the human condition. Stock in depth for costumers who appreciate fine adult filmmaking