Review: God of Love

7:23 PM on 02.13.2011 // Andrew Kauz

Short films have an incredibly difficult job: they have to display creativity in an extremely short amount of time without layering on the novelty so thick that the film turns into a mess of quirkiness. Quirks are at the center of Luke Matheny's Oscar-nominated short film God of Love, telling a twisted take on the traditional Cupid story from mythology. 

The film is another entry in a long line of love triangle stories, but its length and style luckily help it to succeed rather than working against it. While it's hard to love every part of the movie, it's easy to enjoy the unique world that Matheny has crafted in the eighteen minutes we experience of it.

After you're done reading, come back tomorrow for our interview with the film's producer.

Short films have an incredibly difficult job: they have to display creativity in an extremely short amount of time without layering on the novelty so thick that the film turns into a mess of quirkiness. Quirks are at the center of Luke Matheny's Oscar-nominated short film God of Love, telling a twisted take on the traditional Cupid story from mythology. 

The film is another entry in a long line of love triangle stories, but its length and style luckily help it to succeed rather than working against it. While it's hard to love every part of the movie, it's easy to enjoy the unique world that Matheny has crafted in the eighteen minutes we experience of it.

After you're done reading, come back tomorrow for our interview with the film's producer. {{page_break}}

Let's get the love triangle out of the way: boy likes girl, girl likes other boy, other boy values first boy's friendship too much to allow himself to have feelings for girl. However, boy in this case happens to be a lounge singer with incredible aim with darts, which he fits into his act. 

It's at this point that you know that the film is more than a simple love triangle film, but it's honestly not too far divorced. Even with the Cupid twist, this is a very basic story, and you'll anticipate everything that happens far before it happens. Not that the film tries to hide any of it.

What is harder to anticipate, however, is just how unique the tone of the film is. It's comedic without being particularly funny, and it's heartwarming without being markedly emotional. If anything, it's simply endearing -- the atmosphere and tone are just so darn cute. The film's "six most romantic hours" include the construction of a candlelit Amish barn and its replacement with an undersea adventure complete with jazz-playing seafood. 

So, is it an amazing story that you'll remember forever? No. Not even close. But it's a fun little film that feels far more complete than your average twenty-minute television episode, perhaps thanks to its simplicity.

But enough about simplicity. The depth of this film comes in its cinematography, which is really quite well done. Every shot looks magnificent, and the black and white style fits the lounge setting quite well. The film feels very organic and genuine thanks in large part to these stylistic choices.

All in all, God of Love is a very pleasant short film. It's hard not to like it, but there's also a sense that the film isn't incredibly special on the whole. Is it deserving of the awards it has been nominated for? Maybe. Is it a great way to spend twenty minutes? Absolutely.

Overall Score: 7.20 – Good. (7s are good, but not great. These films often have a stereotypical plot or are great movies that have a few minor flaws. Fans of this movie’s genre might love it, but others will still enjoy seeing it in theaters.)




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