Movie Review: 'I’m Your Man (Ich bin dein Mensch)'

John Thomas

Alma (Maren Eggert) hesitantly removes her coat and hands it to her hostess (Sandra Hüller). Then they part the heavy drapes that conceal the entrance to a boisterous dance club and enter.

Alma is here to meet Tom (Dan Stevens), something of an arranged date. He is waiting at a table. When the two women appear, he looks up. His penetrating bright blue eyes show inquisitiveness and trepidation. Once Alma’s seated, Tom suggests she order a red wine he finds special. Later he invites her to dance. She is reluctant but finally agrees.

In mid conversation, Tom continually repeats two words over and over until he is finally carted off the dance floor by two security men. “Tom has suffered a malfunction” the hostess tells her, “he will be fixed and fine by tomorrow.” Tom is a humanoid robot programed specifically to make Alma happy.

In order to generate funds for her research project, Alma dubiously agrees to participate in a scientific experiment. First her brain is scanned to collect data to determine what would make her happy. This information is then programed into a robot thereby creating her man–Tom.

After several dates chaperoned by the hostess, it’s time for Alma to take Tom home for their three-week testing period. He’s eager to make her happy, she’s eager for him to leave her alone–that would make her happy.

Relenting to his insistence to spend more time with her, Alma takes him to her work and introduces him as a colleague she met at a conference in England. Glancing through the three year-long research document she’s been working on, Tom informs her that a paper on the same subject was published three months ago by a researcher in South America. She’s devastated by the news and flees the room–not at all what she wants to hear.

Relations are patched up, so she tries again, this time taking Tom to visit with her sister and elderly father whose mental health is fading. To pass the time, Alma and her sister pour over boxes of photographs from their childhood. They pause when they come to a picture of them on a holiday in Denmark.

Also in the photo is Thomas, a young Danish boy with penetrating bright blue eyes.

Both girls had fallen in love with him, Alma to the point of obsession. She would lie on her back in the sun, close her eyes and then imagine feeling Thomas’ breath on her lips, in readiness to kiss her. When she opens her eyes, he’s not there.

There is also a problem during this visit with her family so Alma decides to cancel the experiment and sends Tom packing. Once he’s gone, she reconsiders her decision and begins searching for him to bring him home. With no luck finding him, she suddenly has an epiphany and drives to Denmark–she knows where he is.

Tom is standing at the same place where she and her sister’s father had taken the photo with Thomas many years ago. They talk. She tells him that this is the exact place where she used to lie facing the sun, with closed eyes imaging Thomas about to kiss her. He knowingly nods and smiles. She lies down in the bright sunlight and closes her eyes.

Directed by Maria Schrader (Credits: Love Life, The Giraffe), I’m Your Man is a “should see” production that runs 105 Minutes


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