With many a nod to cinema chic icon Audrey Hepburn (Marie is all about vintage clothes and retro handbags - she even taps her missives on a typewriter!), Heartbeats transpires in sunny cafes, arty apartments, and along colorfully graffitied sidewalks. Money doesn't seem to be an issue, or employment, for that matter. There are hip soirees filled with neo-bohos and McGill grad students, and a soundtrack of cool chansons. ("Bang Bang" by the late Egyptian-French popster Dalida - how cool is that?) This is also the second film in a week to reference the Kinsey Scale, the famous sex researchers' gauge of hetero-to-homosexuality. (The other: Kaboom.) The subject arises for obvious reasons in the context of what's going on.
Alas, although Heartbeats is quite lovely to look at, there isn't much going on after all. To pad out the wistful, moody business between Marie, Francis, and the object of their affection, Dolan throws in doc-style soliloquies from a handful of characters speaking with rue about the romantic entanglements (and disentanglements) of their lives.
It's sweet, and cinegenic, and Dolan is certainly a talent to watch. This is his second feature, and he still has peach fuzz on his face - and on the back of his neck, too.
Contact movie critic Steven Rea at 215-854-5629 or email@example.com. Read his blog, "On Movies Online," at http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/onmovies/