I'm Your Man
Dan Stevens plays a robotic AI boyfriend to Maren Eggert's sceptical scientist in this winning romantic dramedy from Germany
Maria Schrader’s funny and touching I’m Your Man is a German romantic dramedy with light sci-fi touches that purposefully draws attention to its own artificiality and the (arguable) artificiality of many romantic customs. The reason? It concerns the growing bond between a sceptical woman and an artificial intelligence, as hosted in the body of a prospective humanoid partner.
In order to score research funds for her studies, scientist Alma (Maren Eggert, winner of the lead acting award at the 2021 Berlinale) takes part in an experiment whereby she must live with a robot, Tom, for three weeks and report back her findings. Through all sorts of surveys and data mining, Tom has been designed and created to meet her ideal romantic specifications and make her happy. The researchers’ main correspondent we see is a liaison known only as ‘Employee’, played by Sandra Hüller (Toni Erdmann) like a combination of an ultra-rehearsed restaurant waiter and an ineffectual couples’ therapist.
The designers even determined that Alma would like a vaguely foreign man, though not too exotic, so Tom speaks German with an English accent. Character-wise, Tom brings to mind Steven Spielberg’s A.I., in that he is essentially a combination of that film’s two lead machines: Gigolo Joe, made primarily for pleasure and desire, and David, a robot innocent assigned to love a specific person, and subsequently undergoing an existential crisis. Joe is played by Dan Stevens, giving a quite remarkable performance that’s both frequently hilarious and genuinely moving in equal measure.
Released 13 Aug by Curzon; certificate 15