God’s Time: Film Review | Tribeca 2022
(2.5/5) Meant to be a trippy and quirky New York odyssey in the likes of Good Time, but bogged down by familiar tropes and characters who feel more like caricatures.
DRAMACOMEDYFILM FESTIVALTRIBECAMOLLY KUSILKA
God’s Time, Daniel Antebi’s feature directorial debut, follows best friends Dev (Ben Groh) and Luca (Dion Costelloe) on a frantic chase through New York City to stop a girl in their addiction recovery group, Regina (Liz Caribel Sierra), from committing murder. They suspect after she vents in one of their meetings about wanting to kill her ex boyfriend. Right away, it’s clear these two characters are more infatuated with Regina and the idea of chasing her around the city than actually stopping any murder. They don’t even know the ex-boyfriend she supposedly plans on murdering, so they have really no reason to be so invested in this outside of their clear obsession with her. We watch these two on their quest to track Regina down through punchy cartoon graphics, countless fourth-wall breaks, and zany one-liners.
The dynamic between Dev and Luca and Regina is the familiar trope of the two quirky, nerdy dudes chasing after the enigmatic, fiery, manic pixie dream girl. I would be lying if I said I enjoyed such an overused trope, one that’s of course rooted in misogyny. At the film’s conclusion, Regina has a big confrontational moment where she basically calls them out for stalking her across the city when they don’t even truly know her. The problem with this is that the film still indulges in the very trope Regina is speaking about. Even if the film is making some sort of commentary on men projecting their fantasies on a woman, how effective, truly, is it when we spend the entire film firmly from the subjectivity of Dev and Luca, chasing their object of mad desire, Regina. Regina’s big “I’m more than your fantasy” monologue is not enough, when the entire film hinges on the very objectification she speaks about to further the entire narrative of the film.
At the heart of this film is the friendship between Dev and Luca, but both of them verge on being insufferable. They both feel too much like caricatures, delivering quirky quip after quip, but I never felt that there was a believable connection between them. Regina is incredibly well-acted, but unfortunately, her character is wasted as we only see her from Dev and Luca’s vantage point. The film hinges largely on how endearing you find Dev and Luca. Unfortunately, I found most of their gags fell flat, and most of the moments we are meant to find funny just grating. This is a film fit for the Film Bro canon, complete with two lead male characters who are definitely film bros themselves.