Can an anthropomorphic algorithm make the perfect romantic partner? That’s the hypothetical question that director Maria Schrader seeks to answer in light sci-fi rom-com I’m Your Man. A cross between Ex Machina and a Nora Ephron (When Harry Met Sally) film, I’m Your Man follows, Tom (Dan Stevens), an programmed android who wants to feel everything as he tries to seduce his beta tester, Alma (Maren Eggert), who wants to feel nothing.
Schrader mines every bit of heart and humor the premise has to offer. Just when the film starts to settle into a typical romantic comedy, Tom and Alma begin to explore the philosophical meaning of love, which packs an profound emotional wallop and elevates I’m Your Man from others in its genre. With a premise and follow-through this ingenious, it’s clear that I’m Your Man is an artistic feat created by passionate humans and not an streaming algorithm.
The Silver Lining
Dan Stevens playing an android who is trying to emulate humanity is one of the most inception-level performances of the year. Stevens’ lack of fluidity when carrying out simple human acts as Tom, like sitting in a diner or hugging a friend, come off as purposely awkward, but not in a cliched robotic manner. Even the way that Stevens’ voice is largely monotone with slight emotional inflections give the impression that his character consciously making an effort to appear human. While his character may be blunt and mechanical, Dan Stevens delivers one of the most nuanced and captivating performances of the year.
I’m Your Man was part of the Lake Placid Film Festival’s 2021 line up. The film is now playing in select theaters and on video on demand.