God of Love (2010)

I always remember the 83rd Academy Awards in 2011, not because of the awkwardness of the two young beautiful hosts, but it was around that time Indonesia movie goers have been starved out of some movie imports embargo. How long was it? I can’t remember, but i remember some friends flying to neighboring countries on weekends just to catch a movie or two.. It is around that time too, i started to regularly doing my movie marathons. Anyway, i know the buzz that generates for the oscar movies, but sometimes i just found joy in discovering curious intrest in random categories. The year before that i was smitten with animated short films, that year i fall in love with the Live Action Short films. Did you remember Luke Matheny, the director of the winning short ‘God of Love’, he was like kermit the frog personified, flailing about in his honest and somewhat charming acceptance speech. Okay i’ve rambled enough, anyways, as it so happen, i finally bought the short on iTunes a few weeks ago, and finally had the chance to watch it few nights back, so here’s just my little thoughts…

The story is a simple love triangle: first guy likes girl, girl likes other guy, other guy like the girl too but he’s the first guy’s best friend who acted on ‘bros before hos’ moral conduct. First guy, Raymond Goodfellow (Luke Matheny), a regular lanky guy who sings in lounge band and have an uncanny ability with darts, prays to God so he can  get his Kelly (Marian Brock), the girl of his dreams, and also his band mate. Raymond got an unexpected package, a box of darts, that will have his target fall for him for the limited time duration. With the help of his other bandmate, Fozzie (Christopher Hirch), the guy of Kelly’s desire, he planned  a series of romantic gesture for Kelly. Now, will love conquer all?

This movie is very darling to me, the simple premise of love triangle, but with comedy, and ends with a heartwarming, charming (albeit not too surprising for yours truly) solution. During the duration of 18 minutes, give or take, we were taken through Raymond various attempts to win the heart of Kelly. One hilarious scene is when he tried the love darts to other girls (diverse is an understatement here) and ended up sharing his doubts and concerns to them.

Matheny wrote and directed the movie (also lead in it) as a part of his thesis at NYU, Tisch School of Arts. The movie was shot in black and white by director of photography, Bobby Webster. A choice that somewhat make the movie has an unsual charm (or is it just me, who’s rather biased for a little black and white). The strength of this movie is in the casts, i found that Matheny nailed the lead part with his goofy, aloofness, and nailed the other characters to perfection, I especially adore Hirch’s deadpan denial of his attraction to Kelly.

The movie reminds me how things can be done simply, without shticks and overwhelming elements. Things are not hilariously funny but just so that you can feel a smile tugged on your lips, it’s heartwarming without being overtly emotional, definitely no angsts! The story naturally breathe and unfolds by itself with ease through it’s simplicity. I think the overall effects of the movie has been good for me, it lends a spirit of optimism and positivity.

“You can’t control who you fall in love with, or who falls in love with you. Love doesn’t make sense.”
― Raymond Goodfellow, God of Love.

God of Love available on iTunes for $1.99 (HD $2.99). It is also available as an extra on 127 Hours Blu-Ray release.

(Pictures are from IMDb and personal screencaps)

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