To call "God of Love" another twenty minute love story encapsulated in an indie short film wouldn't be far off the mark. However, where many other films of its ilk fail, "God of Love" excels is in its pure simplicity.
Shot as a senior film project at NYU by Luke Matheny, "God of Love" tells the tale of a talented singer/dart thrower-combo of a man who is the singer of a jazz quartet. The young man, Raymond Goodfellow, is in love with the drummer, Kelly Moran, who is enraptured by his friend Fozzie. Thus begins your typical tale of a love triangle.
Raymond begins the film by praying. But the only thing he's ever prayed for is the returned affections of Kelly. He is rewarded one day after his band plays a set, with a box of magical darts, that will cause a person struck with them to become hopelessly in love with the first person they come into contact with for a period of six hours. He uses a dart on some friends, and finds out it works. They fall in love, and it lasts long after the six hours have gone by. He decides to try with Kelly, and as soon as the six hours are up, she loses affection for him, and he realizes that perhaps it wasn't meant to be. Walking back from another gig, we see Raymond with another dart in his hand, dropping back to "tie his shoe." Kelly and Fozzie stand a few feet in front of him, with Kelly looking lovingly at Fozzie. Raymond raises his dart, and strikes Fozzie, causing Fozzie to return Kelly's affections. The next to last scene shows Raymond singing at a third gig, to an audience filled with happy couples, and a twinkle of happiness in Raymond's eye, as his friends in love stand behind him in the band. He concludes by driving off into the sunset on his scooter, this time with a bow and arrows strapped to his back.
Wonderfully scored with smooth jazz highlights, the film does a good job of keeping what could become a lengthy endeavor contained in a nineteen-minute short film. The film also delivers startling good acting performances from what are assumedly a film student and his friends that he pulled together. "God of Love" may remind viewers of Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova's feature, "Once," in its uniquely simplistic charm. There's no real pretenses here, and the film really sells itself on the raw idea that things only work if you let them run their course, rather than try to force something that shouldn't be so.