One: Happy Accidents (2000), available for rent
This early 2000s movie starring Marisa Tomei and Vincent D’Onofrio is a fun, low-budget gem about a man, Sam Deed, who claims to be a time traveler and the codependent woman he loves. Marisa Tomei’s character realizes that Sam is a bit of a weirdo, but she’s dated so many losers that this guy’s quirks barely register, at least until he gets a bit more aggressive with the time travel stuff.
It’s so sweet, funny, and well-acted. This is one of the few movies I can watch in its entirety with a smile on my face.
Two: Jupiter Ascending (2015), streaming on HBO Max
Is Jupiter Ascending a good movie? No. Do I like it? Yes. I’ve heard it described as “cringy, self-insert fanfiction,” but I’m not above enjoying something like that.
Directed by the Wachowski Sisters, “Jupiter Ascending” is by far one of the most beautiful movies I’ve ever seen. The costumes and sets are sumptuous in a way that borders on self-indulgence. The plot is somewhat nonsensical, but frankly, who cares when it’s all just so pretty? A girl who doesn’t feel special finds out she’s very special, and then she gets a cute wolf-hybrid boyfriend. Sure, that girl is the insanely beautiful Mila Kunis so there are a few moments earlier in the movie where you’re like, “really, why not just try to model or sell expensive handbags instead of scrubbing toilets,” but then you miss out on the Cinderella story. It’s not “2001: A Space Odyssey,” but you’ll be entertained.
Three: Blade Runner (1982), streaming on Amazon Prime
The 1982 science fiction noir film is an adaption of Philip K. Dick’s novel that takes a few artistic liberties, including adapting and expanding the role of the relationship between Rick Deckard and Rachael.
Poor Rachael is the most advanced android to date, not that she knows it. She’s confident in her identity as a human until an encounter with Deckard forces her to question everything she ever knew. Deckard is a Blade Runner tasked with hunting down and killing androids and forms a complicated romantic relationship with Rachael. Deckard’s romantic interest in Rachael and his complex emotional run-ins with the androids he’s tasked with “retiring” force him to reconsider his role as a blade runner and the very nature of humanity.
Many people I know who watch “Blade Runner” don’t exactly like it upon their first viewing. I was one of them. However, I think “Blade Runner” is the kind of film you need to sit on and think about to truly appreciate it. It is one of the most romantic science fiction movies I’ve ever seen and a must-watch for any science fiction fan.
Four: Blade Runner 2049 (2017), streaming on Hulu+
I can think of very few classic movies with sequels that manage to tell a new story while still paying homage to the original. “Blade Runner 2048” is one of the few films that achieves this delicate balance.
Was the love between Joi, the hologram, and K, the replicant tasked with hunting other replicants, real? I like to think it was. Joi may have been a program designed to cater to the whims of lonely men, but does that nullify the feelings she and K shared?
Five: Z-O-M-B-I-E-S (2018), streaming on Disney Plus
I shouldn’t enjoy this children’s series as much as I do, but here we are. The plot of “Z-O-M-B-I-E-S” is both simple and weirdly convoluted. A cheerleader and a zombie fall in love but are kept apart by anti-zombie prejudice. The two sing a few songs and stand up against zombie racism, then spend the next two movies fighting for the rights of others while making friends and making me jealous that I’ll never have someone in my life who loves me as much as Zed Necrodopolus loves Addison Wells.
I wrote one blog post absolutely trashing this series and another where I took everything back and apologized for my trashing. Internal growth is a process, chickadees.
Six: Wall-E (2008), streaming on Disney Plus
This movie makes my heart flutter.
I think everyone reading this now has already seen Wall-E, but take this as a reminder to watch it again. And consider watching “Hello Dolly” before your viewing to better appreciate the love story between Wall-E and Eve.
Seven: Bicentennial Man (1999), available for rent
This tender update of Isaac Asimov’s “I, Robot” (and “The Positronic Man”) stars Robin Williams and Embeth Davidtz. “Bicentennial Man” is a little cheesy, but I appreciate its ruminations on the nature of humanity, free will, and artificial intelligence.
Eight: Save Yourselves! (2020), streaming on Hulu+
“Save Yourselves!” is by far the most relatable alien-invasion film ever. Two thirty-somethings try to “get away from it all” but end up in the middle of the apocalypse with no survival skills. The two blunder their way through this alien invasion and sort-of kind-of prove themselves to be slightly more competent than they first thought.
Nine: Little Fish (2021), streaming on Hulu+
“I was so sad the day I met you.”
This list would be incomplete if I didn’t include at least one sad entry. “Little Fish” stars Olivia Cooke and Jack O’Connell as a couple trying to hold on to their love as a memory-loss virus sweeps the globe.
While I wouldn’t call the ending “happy,” I think watching it could provide solace for people who have had their own romances interrupted by events beyond their control. It’s a nice reminder that although times may be difficult, love remains.
Ten: Love and Monsters (2020), available for rent
Monsters have taken over the world, destroying society and kicking humans to a lower position on the food chain. In this scary new world, a young man, Joel, gives up the comfort and safety of his colony to reconnect with his lost love, Aimee.
Although pitched as a romance, “Love and Monsters” is more of a journey of self-discovery. Joel’s biggest obstacle isn’t that he’s lonely but that he freezes in deadly situations and cannot defend himself. By going on this journey, Joel is forced to overcome his greatest fears and become stronger and more self-sufficient.
Love plays an important role in this monster mash, but it doesn’t give precedence to romantic love. There are many different kinds of love people can experience, and “Love and Monsters” reminds us that these are all worth pursuing.
Special Mention: Everything Everywhere All At Once (2022), streaming on Paramount+
Before I went to see this movie, Jason Pargin tweeted the following:
I’ve been a fan of Michelle Yeoh for years and had soft plans to see this film, but I was worried that my expectations might be too high, especially after seeing this tweet.
I had nothing to worry about.
“Everything Everywhere All at Once” is a beautifully constructed, inventive film fraught with emotional tension. It is the story of an immigrant woman, Evelyn, who is disappointed by her life. Her child is rebellious, her business might be failing, and her relationship with her “silly” husband is passionless. Once we follow Evelyn through the different paths of her life, we see a reality in which she never married her husband and instead became a famous and wealthy actress. We see that although her life is glamorous and exciting, there is an emptiness.
We see how dreary and stressful her life is, but it’s a mundane life with Waymond, and that makes it worth living.
I began to put this list together in the summer of 2022, and since then, “Everything Everywhere All At Once” has won a bazillion Oscars and is on everyone’s radar. It feels a little silly to even mention it, but I know I’d regret not including it on this list.
If you get this far and you still need more convincing of the magical romantic powers of science fiction movies, then you should check out the other list I wrote last year with 10 romantic science fiction recommendations. And if I still haven’t listed your favorite movie then please feel free to let me know.
3 thoughts on “10 More Science Fiction Movies to Make You Believe in Love”
There’s some movies here I haven’t seen. Time to binge..
Everything Everywhere All At Once is at the top of my list now!
I’d love to know what you think!