Review of "I am your man": Living doll

“Your eyes are like two mountain lakes that I could sink into” is a compliment that most women wouldn’t mind. But Alma (Maren Eggert) i...


“Your eyes are like two mountain lakes that I could sink into” is a compliment that most women wouldn’t mind. But Alma (Maren Eggert) isn’t most women: a sharp scientist and cuneiform expert, she’s not interested in flattery or the man who delivers it. His name is Tom (Dan Stevens), he’s gorgeous and he’s available. He is also a robot.

Based on a short story by Emma Braslavsky, “I’m Your Man” is a cool and clever sci-fi love story. Approaching heavy questions with disarming playfulness, the screenplay (by director Maria Schrader and Jan Schomburg) never crosses the line. Alma is alone, but not desperate; lively, but not without romance. (She sees poetry in the ancient texts she studies.) So when asked to test a synthetic soul mate in exchange for a donation to the Berlin museum where she works, she reluctantly agrees.

Sweeter and funnier than joke-in-a-minute, “I’m your man” – like the excellent TV shows “Humans” – reflects on the obstacles to human-android partnerships. Tom, like much of the Internet, is algorithmically designed to give Alma increasing amounts of what she loves; yet her exasperation for these attentions is as confused for her as for him. Flirting, we learn, is the most difficult skill to program, but adapting to human curses has to come very close.

Sometimes turning surreal, this unusual and tender little film carefully questions the gulf between digital and biological wiring. Stevens, fluent in German, is fabulous, giving the character an unexpected depth and delicacy. Tom can quote Rilke and dance rumba, make brunch and a rose petal bath, but so what? He got me to those mountain lakes.

I am your man
Rated R for crossbreed lifeform canoodling. Duration: 1h45. In theaters.

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