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GOD’S WAITING ROOM (2021, USA) – 6.5/10

God’s waiting room in the debut feature film of the not too famous American actor Tyler Riggs is the Florida city of Tampa. At least that’s what 17-year-old Rosie (Nisalda Gonzalez) thinks, a talented musician who spends the summer in the company of her two best friends and dreams of going to New York and trying to make a career in music there. However, she will start hanging out with the slightly older dealer Jules (Matthew Leone won the award for best actor in Tribeca), an obviously antipathetic slob who her friends warn her about, even though one of them is making out with Jules behind her back. Even Rosie’s father Nino (Ray Benitez), a manual laborer who subordinated everything to his daughter’s happiness and success, is not enthusiastic about this bleached-haired swindler.

In parallel with that main narrative line about the summer romance of two young people, we also follow the fate of Brandon (played by Riggs himself), a slightly older guy who got out of prison after 12 years where he lay for murder. Although for a while his presence seems to have nothing to do with the main story, their paths will eventually cross, and Brandon is also the narrator, which seems a bit confusing, pretentious and unnecessary. Although “God’s Waiting Room”, after all, like the name of the film itself, seems a bit poser and Riggs opted for some stylized naturalism that we probably see in every other American indie film, it turned out quite solid until the end.

Riggs tried and partially succeeded in capturing the contrasts of the sunniest American state, which from afar may look like a dreamland (especially for the pensioners in the north at whose parties Rosie performs and thus earns pocket money), but for the young people we meet here, she literally it looks like purgatory. As a place where they have to live out their youth and where people like them have no prospects and their destiny is to clean the pools of the rich, be a waiter, be a gardener or be a gardener. Riggs managed to build interesting relationships between the characters, and in fact the weakest and somehow unnatural is the character he left for himself and whose presence mostly has nothing to do with the story, and when he is connected, he acts like some kind of deus ex machina.