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TIFF Review: I'm Your Man Is Smart, Charming & Deceptively Deep

Heartwarming, elegant, and often profound in its exploration of loneliness and human connection, I’m Your Man is exquisitely charming and smart.

When it comes to the advancement of technology and how it shapes and changes humanity in movies, the automations — be they humanoid or stereotypical machine-looking robots — usually evolve to become menaces upon society, villains created at the hands of people that got out of control. Or, in the case of Black Mirror, advanced to the point of complete and destructive immersion, lifestyles controlled by likes and simulated programming. In I’m Your Man (Ich bin dein Mensch in its original German), director Maria Schrader — working from a screenplay she co-wrote with Jan Schomburg and is inspired by the short story by Emma Braslavsky — unpacks human relationships with technology in a genuinely thoughtful way by turning it into an actual one. Heartwarming, elegant, and often profound in its exploration of loneliness and human connection, I’m Your Man is exquisitely charming and smart.

Alma (a phenomenal Maren Eggert) is a sociologist whose research involves the study of ancient languages to find whether people used poetry and metaphor thousands of years before. She works at a museum where her ex-partner Julian (Hans Löw) is still a colleague and takes care of her ailing father (Wolfgang Hübsch), whose dementia is getting worse over time. At the behest of her boss, Alma takes part in a study that sees her partnered up with a robot boyfriend named Tom (Dan Stevens), who was designed specifically to cater to her needs, be attentive to her wants and desires, and to ultimately fulfill certain aspects of her life to make her happy. (Tom even speaks German with an English accent because Alma likes it that way.) After three weeks, Alma must write an evaluation that will be taken into account regarding whether these advanced technological subjects should partner with other humans and enter society as beings who can evolve. 

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