Far gone are the days of the love letter. Going fast: the well-composed email. Say goodbye, it seems, to the politely returned text message (I’ve ghosted and been ghosted; what single person hasn’t at this point?). It’s all a bit of a new frontier, and as we plunge forth, the old ways (meeting a prospective love interest out at a bar, for example) are becoming increasingly foreign to us. (See: Vogue sex and relationship columnist Karley Sciortino’s firsthand telling of the modern-day dating experience.)
And so we go back to the grind, er, iPhone. We quite literally shop for people whose faces we like. We judge character based upon a few emoji and quippy lines. We devote ourselves to our careers, maybe. We think about getting a dog, or getting back to that cherished, yet elusive, “me” time. We hope to be set up with someone a friend is quite sure we’ll really like. We marry, sure, we do still marry. We even still move to the suburbs, studies say. But for those of us prone to abstract thinking, there’s never been a more interesting and intriguing time to be seeking intimate connection.
If dating has changed this much in the last 20 years, then where exactly are we headed? And will we like it once we get there? A recent uptick in film releases set in the future, be it far-off or familiar, directed by some of the most promising directors right now — Spike Jonze’s masterful Her, Yorgos Lanthimos’ breakout hit The Lobster, even, yes, The Hunger Games series — point to a real interest in this question. Of course, love has been a driving force of silver-screen storytelling since the first days of silent cinema. But it’s the science-fiction genre that intrigues me. Read on to see how nine sci-fi films envision love and romance in the future.
Warning: Plot spoilers ahead.