The Dan Stevens German language film I’m Your Man is currently competing at the Berlin International Film Festival. I’ve been seeing clips here and there over the past few weeks and it’s really peaked my interest in the film.
When I first announced Dan’s involvement in this movie, I found the premise intriguing but now after reading an interview with the movie’s director/writer Maria Schrader, I’m finding it even more so. the storyline is described as:
Alma, a workaholic archeologist with no interest in romance (Maren Eggert) takes part in an experiment. For three weeks she will test drive the latest in dating technology: a lifelike android, called Tom (Dan Stevens), programmed solely for her happiness. Things don’t go as planned.
The article from The Hollywood Reporter goes on to ask,
What would happen if we had robots that actually were what we imagined they could be? Namely non-violent, without a desire for freedom, completely un-self-serving? What if you had the perfect love servant, someone who gave you their undivided attention and, at the same time, wasn’t driven by what all humans are driven by, namely fear. Fear of death, fear of abandonment. Free of ambition. Free of jealousy. Wouldn’t they be the better humans?
My immediate thought was, well that would be boring, wouldn’t it?’ to have someone at your beck and call. but if they were programmed with you specifically in mind? I think that would blur the lines a lot more. which is why ‘Alma warns not to legalize these robots. Eventually, they would make us obsolete. Because they are the better humans.’ this all sounds like deep, dramatic stuff but the film is actually categorized as a romantic comedy- though of the dry, subtle kind I’m assuming. which makes it even more intriguing to me.
In the interview, Maria talks about what it was like to film during quarantine too, the work-around to scenes that called for groups of people to be in close proximity to each other and how it was this timing that dropped a talented actor like Dan, a native Englishman who could pull off the German language delivery and the character development with finesse, into her lap
it was a joy to work with an actor where we could play with it: how much human will we show, when can you see the machine inside, when can’t you? When he learns more, how does he change? What is artificial and what isn’t and is the not-artificial automatically better?
The film has been getting a lot of praise from critics, which makes me hopeful that it will get picked up from distributers and brought to the general viewing public in a timely manner. while Dan has released plenty of content since Legion ended with it’s 3rd season in 2019, nothing has caught my eye in a way that’s lit a real spark of excitement in me, until this.
Alma believes in romantic love but not as something you can buy but as something that happens by chance. A Godsend. Unpredictable. But is the fact that you can order Tom make him less valuable, does it make him less valid? Are the feelings less authentic?
This kind of film, lighthearted dry humor with underlying depth that leaves you thinking afterwards, is where Dan really shines as a performer. I’m looking very forward to seeing him in this type of role again.