In 1984 rom-com Electric Dreams, an artificially intelligent PC falls for Virginia Madsen’s lovely cellist heroine, and almost four decades later, its advanced version, Dob, goes as far as ‘possessing’ a human body to conquer the heart of a woman – marketing specialist Lana – it... pardon, HE loves. A droll, lighthearted piece of cyberpunk cinema, AI Love You is a promising feature debut for Stephan Zlotescu who has already dabbled with the man-machine dynamics, and demonstrated an impressive visual flair in his 2012 neon-noir short True Skin.
Robotized or rather, sentient skyscrapers equipped with heads and extremities who we are introduced to in the opening shots suggest that we shouldn’t take the film too seriously, and yet, the affection Dob feels for Lana carries a hefty weight. There’s also a lot to re-learn about humaneness and togetherness from ‘smart buildings’ linked in a widespread network who would do anything to help each other, as well as their flesh-and-blood ‘masters’. Okay, the ideas presented here may appear naive and idealistic, but why not having AI that strives to change us for the better and remind us of our true selves, instead of one going berserk?
At times slightly didactic, and too innocent / saccharine for our cynical age, AI Love You mostly operates as a stylish mood-lifter drenched in colorful lighting and synth-heavy music that harkens back to the 80’s. A pleasure to look at and listen to, it is delicately packed with cartoonish qualities which make it a perfect substitute for Jeunet’s thematically related, but oppressively garish latest offering BigBug.
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