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- Dir: Maria Schrader. Starring: Maren Eggert, Dan Stevens, Sandra Hüller, Hans Löw, Wolfgang Hübsch. 104 minutes
Tom (Dan Stevens) is each lady’s dream man, so long as the dream in query is an odd and unsettling one wherein the physique of Nineteen Eighties-classic Richard Gere turns into possessed by the spirit of C-3PO. In that type, he’s one of many deeply unconventional romantic leads of I’m Your Man, a sensationally humorous and gently science-fictional German rom-com which premiered on the Berlin Movie Pageant this week.
Directed and co-written by Germany’s Maria Schrader, the premise resembles Steven Spielberg’s AI, however with added TLC. In a close to-future Berlin, a single historian referred to as Alma (Maren Eggert) has been enlisted for a particular product trial. For 3 weeks, she and 9 different volunteers will dwell with robotic humanoids who’ve been engineered to be their perfect companions – and who will solely turn into extra perfect with each passing day as their behavioural algorithms turn into more and more attuned to their proprietor’s wants and needs.
Alma’s mannequin is Tom, who’s tall, good-looking and unblinkingly gracious, with piercing, deep blue eyes. Sure, he’s a contact intense, and talks with a clipped earnestness that may be a little bit unnerving. However in any other case he seems to be and acts the half. On the drive residence, he breaks the ice by providing Alma unsolicited driving ideas which is able to scale back her probabilities of an accident by 27 per cent. As I say, the eye to element is uncanny.
Schrader and her main couple persistently mine huge, sensible laughs from this ingenious premise, whereas wading fearlessly in the direction of its extra perturbing implications. At first, Alma is left chilly by the very thought of a simulated soulmate, not least as a result of in relationships, she craves novelty and friction. Tom’s romantic routines, in the meantime, triangulated from 17 million psychological profiles, are inclined to skew in the direction of rose petals within the bathtub.
“Ninety-three per cent of German ladies want this,” he says with confusion, as she turns down a glass of bubbly and a candle-lit soak. “Guess which group I belong to,” Alma snaps again. Eggert performs her with a brusque, self-possessed wit which will remind some viewers of Greta Gerwig, and it’s thrilling to look at her heat to Tom as his methods come to know her higher – whereas grappling with what this warming reveals about herself, since she finally is aware of the entire thing’s a charade, carried out each by and for her alone. As for Stevens, he provides the best efficiency of his submit-Downton Abbey profession – and nearly completely in German besides.
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