Love to Love Me Baby

Love Me

What makes us human? Well-trod territory for cinema, to be sure, but the philosophical question has rarely been tackled with as much creativity and joyful abandon as we see in Sam and Andy Zuchero’s Love Me (2024). Long after the death of humanity, two lonely machines embark on a journey to find themselves – and each other, along the way. If you’re thinking this sounds an awful lot like WALL·E (Andrew Stanton, 2024), well, you’re not wrong: it’s a clear source of inspiration for the filmmakers. Although Love Me fizzles out a bit in its third act, both the fascinating concept and the winning performances from Kristen Stewart and Steven Yeun keep it fresh and engaging for most of its run time.

Years after a mass extinction event wiped out all life on Earth, the planet is a lonely place, seemingly occupied only by a smart buoy (Kristen Stewart) that can keep itself indefinitely powered by the sun. It has all the time in the world – but no one to spend it with. At least, until a satellite (Steven Yeun) passes by in the sky, offering a robotic greeting that the buoy is eager to learn how to respond to. The satellite is programmed to act as a sort of apocalyptic tour guide for any lifeforms that might pass by to learn about the planet, an optimistic last gesture from NASA scientists before the world ended. 

But since it’s only meant to help lifeforms (and the buoy is not, technically speaking, alive), for their conversations to continue, the buoy has to do enough research on humanity to pass itself off as a real-life person. But the more the buoy learns about the former inhabitants of Earth, the more it yearns to experience life, and its excited descriptions make the satellite more curious about humanity in return. Together, they embark on a new experiment, retreating into an artificial reality where they are people – a social media influencer and her boyfriend, in particular – and have the opportunity to learn about humankind first-hand.

The greatest strength of Love Me is the partnership of Stewart and Yeun, injecting so much humanity into a pair of machines that you can’t help but root for them. They’re the only two actors in the entire film, and they carry it on their shoulders with charm and panache. The social media construct wears a little thin at times – it carries on for way too long and eventually gets repetitive – and it’s hard to overlook the fact that the narrative concept doesn’t quite fill a feature-length movie. Still, the sheer creativity of the production and the performances of its two actors make Love Me a quirky, refreshingly original rom-com worth watching.

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Audrey Fox is a Rotten Tomatoes-approved film critic and a member of the Boston Society of Film Critics, with bylines at, /Film, The Nerdist, Looper, amongst others.