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Kristen Stewart & Steven Yeun Lead A Flat, Hollow Sci-Fi Romance


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Summary

  • Love Me has an interesting concept about AI and self-discovery, but its execution falls flat.
  • The film lacks compelling questions and the romance is repetitive and emotionally disjointed.
  • Kristen Stewart and Steven Yeun’s performances are stripped of meaning, and the animated portion is uninspired.


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With such a talented cast and a fascinating concept, I really wanted to like Love Me, but for all its intrigue, Sam and Anthony Zuchero’s sci-fi romance is much too flimsy and shallow. Artificial intelligence is at the center of the story, but the film wants us to desperately buy into the idea that two entities — a water buoy designed in 2600 before humanity’s extinction and a satellite charged with holding vestiges of what human life was like — could fall in love and make a life for themselves.


Love Me’s Interesting Concept Is Flat & Unconvincing

Love Me 2024 Temp Movie Poster Still

Love Me is a romantic drama film written and directed by Sam and Andy Zuchero and was released in 2024. Set in a postapocalyptic scenario, the film follows two individuals who meet online and fall in love. However, the nature of their relationship and the world causes them to evaluate what is real – including themselves.

Pros

  • Love Me’s themes are interesting and thought-provoking
Cons

  • Kristen Stewart & Steven Yeun’s performances don’t elevate the film
  • The emotions in Love Me never feel authentic
  • The film is too caught up in repetition to be compelling

Sure, Love Me has some incisive commentary on what it means to be real and how becoming a reflection of others makes that incredibly difficult, but its execution falls flat. Me (Kristen Stewart) is a lonely buoy who captures the attention of IAm (Steven Yeun) by pretending to be a life form. Within their internal systems, Me begins to emulate a human influencer, Deja, and pushes IAm to become her boyfriend, Liam. This is all captured in animation form, which can be aesthetically engaging, but it’s hampered by a tedious romance that initially plays out through a repetitive date night.

The film asks a lot of questions, but none of them are particularly compelling. What does it mean to be alive, and does inhabiting a life that isn’t yours make you fake? Does being alive mean repeating things and going through the motions until you genuinely feel the emotions you so desperately hope will come alive? Is being alive so unimaginative that AI can only mirror influencers? But what does AI know about being alive? That’s the biggest takeaway after watching Me/Deja and IAm/Liam argue and attempt to create something from nothing.

Related

Steven Yeun & Love Me Directors Talk Love In The Time Of AI At Sundance Premiere

At the Sundance premiere of Love Me, Screen Rant interviews Steven Yeun, Sam Zuchero, and Andy Zuchero about the sci-fi movie’s romantic elements.

Their relationship is too caught up in the state of repetition and misunderstandings to be thoroughly explored. I grew tired of the same arguments, the frustration and the emotional toll that often felt so disconnected and emotionally disjointed. I didn’t care about either character, perhaps because neither of them were real people — they were only pretending. Even when they stopped, the resulting message was that they were still following in another couple’s footsteps; they were still only imitating what they thought people should be despite discovering certain things about themselves.

Kristen Stewart & Steven Yeun Can’t Save Love Me

Me’s entire journey is about self-discovery and identity, but the film takes a maudlin approach that feels insincere. It doesn’t help that the final act rushes through Me’s evolution after having been MIA for a billion years. The film’s attempts to convince us of the pair’s relationship and humanity lacks conviction and heart. The one-dimensional characters and the disadvantageous writing don’t bring out the best in Stewart and Yeun, actors who are typically great at conveying emotions. Their performances are stripped of meaning, and the superficial characterizations don’t allow the actors’ usual depth to bubble to the surface.

We get the point early on, but the writer-directors seem determined to hit us over the head with it before finally moving on.

Much of Love Me plays out in animated form, which also lends itself to Stewart and Yeun’s underwhelming performances. The animated portion isn’t itself a problem, but the implementation is uninspired and lackluster, devoid of true feeling. That’s, in part, because the scenes grow tired and there’s a lack of ambition when it comes to moving from one point to another in the story. We get the point early on, but the writer-directors seem determined to hit us over the head with it before finally moving on.

The culmination is haphazard at best, nor does it resonate emotionally. The concept is no doubt thought-provoking and, occasionally, even creative. But it’s hard to get behind the journey the AIs go on when it’s so detached, the film itself attempting to be a gripping narrative conveying heartfelt emotions that just don’t land. The beginning showed some promise, but you’ll be waiting for Love Me to be over long before it actually ends.

Love Me premiered at the 2024 Sundance Film Festival.

Love Me (2024)

Release Date
January 19, 2024

Director
Sam Zuchero , Andy Zuchero

Runtime
92 Minutes

Writers
Sam Zuchero , Andy Zuchero

Studio(s)
2AM , ShivHans Pictures , AgX

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