God’s Petting You
At one point during God’s Petting You, a bemused therapist (played by Alice Lowe) berates the film’s narrator, a heroin addict named Charlie (George Webster), who’s been recounting the tale of plotting a murder which led him here. She questions how any of the latest details that he’s given are of any relevance before asking him if “this is all some sort of joke”.
With Lowe’s reputation in slick indie cinema, viewers may assume that writer-director Jamie Patterson is acknowledging the script’s lack of focus in some sort of grand meta gag that aims to deconstruct the crime comedy genre. But with no other slyly written winks hinting that this was the filmmaker’s intention, it’s more likely that Lowe’s comment was another example of this film’s peculiar sense of humour, which is rarely amusing but always bizarre.
Charlie’s story begins when an enigmatic woman with a chest tattoo, who’s credited only as Tattoo Girl (Skye Laurie), walks into the addiction meeting he attends (though only to meet his dealer). It turns out that she’s a sex addict, and the pair quickly form a relationship. They want to run away together but lack the fifty grand to do so. However, they do know where they can find the money: in the safe of Tattoo Girl’s porn star boyfriend (Benedict Garrett).
What follows is a madcap misadventure as the pair figure out how to execute their plan. They’ll meet eccentric characters along the way, like a gruff cowboy arms dealer played by Patrick Bergin and Charlie’s coked-up boss (Joss Porter). The flick is peppered with creative lunacy, however, it’s unable to do anything interesting with its roster of oddball characters. The funniest is Joe Wilkinson’s brief cameo as Charlie’s drug dealer. His comedic persona and deadpan performance are perfect for this film’s flavour of strange. Beyond that, though, God’s Petting You’s humour is largely juvenile and unimaginatively crass where most of the punchlines revolve around genitalia.
More frustrating than all the penis jokes combined, is the final twist that calls back to a monologue from Tattoo Girl. Lacking in consequence and having very little to do with the rest of the film, this last plot point is an unearned conclusion to a dissatisfying crime comedy.
God’s Petting You is released in select cinemas on 21st April 2023.
Watch the trailer for God’s Petting You here: