Writer-director Alexandra-Therese Keining's "With Every Heartbeat," consistently remains several steps behind the audience as it plays out the formulaic pattern of two unlikely women who fall for each other.

Writer-director Alexandra-Therese Keining’s “With Every Heartbeat,” consistently remains several steps behind the audience as it plays out the formulaic pattern of two unlikely women who fall for each other. Riddled with such phony character motivation and action that the characters themselves repeatedly call each into question, the Swedish production will lure support from undiscriminating auds looking for strong female sexuality onscreen.

At an engagement party for sixtysomething dad Lasse (vet Krister Henriksson), Mia (Ruth Vega Fernandez) accompanies fiance Tim (Joakim Natterqvist) and seems reasonably in love. But Frida (Liv Mjones), the daughter of Lasse’s soon-to-be wife (Lena Endre, reduced to fourth-banana status), inexplicably makes eyes at Mia, who just as inexplicably returns the interest, setting off erotic fireworks that will likely fill a page of Playboy’s upcoming “Sex in the Cinema” annual spread. As each party absorbs the reality that Mia is turning from Tim to Frida, the film treats the drama with purely mechanical plotting rather than genuine emotional perception.

With Every Heartbeat

Sweden

Production

A Wolfe Releasing (in U.S.)/Nordisk Film (in Sweden) release of a LeBox Prod. production in association with Film i Skane/Ystad-Osterlin Film Fund/Lady Bird/SVT/Redrental/Filmgear/Nordisk Film Post Prod./Supersonic. Produced by Josefine Tengblad. Co-producers, Ralf Enarsson, Edith Jageroden, Lars Hermann, Bjorn Johansson, Gunnar Carlsson. Directed, written by Alexandra-Therese Keining. Based on an idea by Josefine Tengblad, Keining.

Crew

Camera (color, widescreen), Ragna Jorming; editors, Lars Gustafson, Malin Lindstrom; music, Marc Collin; production designer, Elli Furudahl; costume designer, Sanna Forsberg. Reviewed at Mark Goodson screening room, Los Angeles, Oct. 26, 2011. (In AFI Film Festival -- Breakthrough Cinema.) Running time: 107 MIN.

With

Ruth Vega Fernandez, Liv Mjones, Lena Endre, Krister Henriksson, Joakim Natterqvist.

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