Off Beat is a tedious comedy [from a story by Dezso Magyar] that suffers visibly from the involvement of several artists known for good work on more serious fare.
Except for Cleavant Derricks, who shows a natural comedic talent playing a New York City cop in over his head in a mixup involving a friend (Judge Reinhold) subbing for him at the annual police benefit dance auditions, cast led by Reinhold seem so conscientious about trying to be funny, they forget to lighten up.
Reinhold, a library clerk, agrees to replace friend Abe Washington (Derricks) in the chorus line where he falls instantly for a cute little policewoman (Meg Tilly). He’s supposed to fail the audition, but instead woos the choreographer (National Dance Institute founder Jacques D’Amboise) so he can stick around and get to know Tilly better.
To keep up the charade for Tilly, he ends up in uniform more often than he should and unwittingly gets himself involved in a few incidents. Romance between Reinhold and Tilly is lackluster, attributable partially to some dreary dialog.