Beat is a true story. Only the names of some minor characters have been changed. New York, 1944. Several college students from Columbia gather at the apartment of Joan Vollmer (Courtney Love) to smoke, drink, and experiment with the prescription drugs Joan has charmed a local pharmacist (Steve Hedden) into selling her. As Joan and her friend Sadie (Lisa Sheridan) share Benzedrine-laced coffee with a young Allen Ginsberg (Ron Livingston), Sadie’s boyfriend, Jack Kerouac (Daniel Martinez), and Lucien Carr (Norman Reedus) arrive.