“It’s not just an operating system, it’s a consciousness,” reads the ad for the world’s first artificially intelligent operating system in Spike Jonze’s Her. A romance between Joaquin Phoenix’s Theodore and the OS1 (voiced by Scarlett Johansson) quickly ensues. While you decide if Her, which opened in theaters this week, is an eccentric look at falling in love or a manipulative portrait of male loneliness, we looked back at other strange, technological romances on film.
Director Steve Barron, who brought us the innovative video for A-ha’s “Take on Me” and oversaw Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean,” directed an MTV-esque film about a love triangle between a nerdy architect named Miles (Twin Peaks’ Lenny von Dohlen), his sentient computer named Edgar, and Miles’ neighbor Madeline (Virginia Madsen). A rivalry breaks out between Miles and Edgar, which is at turns weirdly dark and comedic. Bud Cort’s voice for Edgar imbues a vivid sense of loneliness and frustration due to an inability to physically connect.