Review: ‘My Heart Beats’

A thirtysomething academic discovers sexual desire by performing in a porn movie.

Resolutely unfunny when it tries to mine comedic veins, Huh Eunhee’s “My Heart Beats” attempts to show how a virginal thirtysomething academic discovers sexual desire by performing in a porn movie that, unaccountably, becomes a hit. As such, the South Korean production merges elements from American comedies “The 40-Year-Old Virgin” and “Zack and Miri Make a Porno”; taken together, they’re a mess, resulting in a movie that’s always off by a beat or two. Asian specialty fests are the best berth.

English lit lecturer Juri (You Dong-sook) reconnects with former friend and now-porn producer Myung-sook (Byeon Ji-yeon, droll), and finds the turn-on of being in an adult film difficult to resist. She also finds that students at her university are moonlighting as porn stars, and it’s with one of them, Ryul (One Tae-hee), that her long streak as a virgin ends. Juri’s terrible lack of erotic allure drives director J.J. (Kang Seok-ho) nuts, but she eventually gets the hang of it. Various subplots and themes, such as episodes with suggestive forms of fruit and Juri’s lectures on D.H. Lawrence, are all a muddle.

My Heart Beats

South Korea

Production

A Lucky Star Lounge/Orange Cinema presentation. Produced by Huh Eun-hee. Executive producer, Shaoky K. Taraman. Directed, written by Huh Eun-hee.

Crew

Camera (color, DV), Seok Hyeon-jing; editor, Park Sei-young; music, Yoo Min-hyung; production designers, Lee Hyun-woo, Park Juns-ee; costume designer, Yoo Chan-hee. Reviewed on DVD, Los Angeles, May 30, 2010. (In Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival.) Running time: 113 MIN.

With

You Dong-sook, Byeon Ji-yeon, One Tae-hee, Kang Seok-ho, Ahn Sung-geon.

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