Sophie & Stephen
All Films • 9m 42s
Two AI assistants conspire to get their human counterparts to meet. In “Sophie & Stephen,” directed by Rob Perri, a love story between two people who have yet to meet, there are plenty of questions beyond the central connection: is this where we’re headed as a society? Is that a good thing? In a world filled with Restless Thumb Syndrome, a byproduct of perpetual phone scrolling, Kate is a hand surgeon, who sees these cases daily; Daniel is an ex-musician turned guitar teacher. Both are single and upon first glance, not a romantic match. Their digital assistants, the titular Sophie and Stephen, think otherwise. So, while Kate is a workaholic attracted to distant and unavailable men (due to fear of intimacy), and Daniel is a former drug addict attracted to damaged individuals (who will never give him the stability he needs), the AI algorithm determines the two are biologically compatible and would balance each other out. Thus, an attempt is made to arrange a spontaneous meeting and provide a spark. Psychologically astute and overflowing with personal details, the film understands the subconscious ways we make decisions, often based on childhood issues. It’s a lovely film filled with vulnerability and longing, which the algorithm aims to assuage. Nonetheless, the question is implanted (though wisely never answered): are these intrusions into our personal backgrounds, habits and traits, enlightening or creepy?
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