This ain’t the old days anymore when Lebanese films used to be sex free. This is a Lebanese movie for the 21st Century that sadly emerges as a dull piece of cheese. If one were scoring good intentions, “Beirut Hotel” would get an A for effort, simply for trying to be different. But the screenplay resembles an earnest junior high school play that isn’t worthy of the subject or the people behind this endeavor. Audiences were sharply divided when “Beirut Hotel” screened on ARTE in January. Some folks I spoke to were downright angry. When I finally caught up with the film, I felt the same way. Why? If there’s a Lebanese movie cliché that director Daniel Arbid misses, I don’t know it. What I can’t figure is why anyone would want to release this film in theaters just when almost everyone could barely sit through it when it played on Television. It didn’t help that I knew how the story would eventually end. If you don’t know where it’s leading, you might derive some suspense from the narrative, even though it is told in a predictable fashion. For me, knowing the ending—which I won’t give away, just in case—made me all the more impatient to get there and get it over with. Trying to remove my personal feelings from the equation is difficult. I’m able to appreciate the quality of Darine Hamze’s performance as a woman who feels suffocated by circumstance. She meets and falls in love with an older french lawyer who, according to her uncle, might also be an Israeli spy. Or something like that. In terms of plot, I’ll say no more. Some have heaped praise on “Beirut Hotel”, calling it the next big thing, and they’re entitled to their opinions. I can only be honest in describing my reaction: watching this movie was so not cool.