After I finally watched Spike Jonze’s Her a few weeks ago, I had intended to write a review of it. But it sparked something else in me. A rabid, fangirlish love, and a realisation that I finally know what genre will most often satisfy me. In the best way. I gave it a nice convoluted name in the title, but really, it’s most kinds of romantic science fiction. Comedy, independent, I love it. Never Let Me Go, Safety Not Guaranteed, and Her, just to name a few, are some of the best films I’ve seen in recent years. Hear me out.
Science Fiction in itself is often cold, impassioned, and relies on its technology or concept to entertain. This often leaves a distance between the viewer, and makes it hard for us to care that their future is horrible and ruined. I speak, of course, for myself only. Romance or Comedy alone is often driven solely by characters’ melodramas or slip-ups, and forgets to focus on creating a believable and engaging plot and world. They often have the characters and the investment from us, but they lack anything else. So what if we combine the two? With the right team to make it perfect, you get a character-driven, funny, heartwarming story that also has robots and fighting and awesome technology. There is no way you can go wrong.
Sci-fi that is driven by characters or a romantic subplot is engaging and ultimately, more enjoyable. Never Let Me Go had me in tears that it never would have were it not focused on the lives of those teenagers. If Her were just about some creepy guy who had great technology and hung out alone all day, it would have been…even weirder. But it was about a creepy guy falling in love and all of the funny things that happened inbetween.
So that’s my thoughts. What are yours on rom-com-sci-fi? What’s your favourite ridiculous mash-up genre? I’d love to know.