Maria Schrader’s unlikely sci-fi rom-com explores human relationships through the inquisitive eyes of a cyborg. Starring Dan Stevens and Maren Eggert.
I'm Your Man
How would you react if the perfect partner were created for you — designed to respond to your every conscious or unconscious need? For scientist Alma Felser (Maren Eggert), the reaction is instant skepticism. She is reluctant when offered a job evaluating a new line of humanoid cyborgs to determine what rights they should be granted in society. She believes it takes more than millions of data points collected from the human population to make a human being. But when research funding for her cuneiform studies at Berlin’s Pergamon Museum is dangled, Alma agrees to a three-week trial with Tom (Dan Stevens), an English-accented, rumba-dancing robot who is relentlessly eager to serve one purpose: her happiness.
Writer-director Maria Schrader’s I’m Your Man playfully interrogates the complexities of companionship and human interactions, as reflected back in the steely gaze of a replicant. Emotions and ego are explored through a full range of relationships: romantic, familial, professional, and, most importantly, the relationship with one’s self.
Schrader’s profound understanding of, and respect for, our internal contradictions is manifested in the relatable Alma. Conveyed with remarkable authenticity by Eggert in her Berlin Silver Bear–winning performance, the scientist’s reluctant feelings about cyborg Tom evolve ever so lightly into intimacy, in spite of his direct if perfectly charming advances (powered by the bionically good-looking Stevens of Downton Abbey fame — impressive in an entirely German-language role). It must be said: there aren’t many entrants in the sci-fi rom-com subgenre that wholly reflect the human condition. I’m Your Man stands apart as exemplary.