A perfect blend of genres!
Aside from being an epic sci-fi movie, Avatar: The Way of Water is also going to serve as a continuation of Jake and Neytiri’s story. It’s not the only science fiction film that has a romantic element to it, with some movies focusing on displaying what happens when love and technology (and often, fantasy) mix.
The best sci-fi romance films explore novel and often fantastical concepts and how they influence, create, and change the way people (and other sentient beings) love each other. The ones fans of the genre shouldn’t miss include classics like Blade Runner and even animated films like Wall-E.
Often cited alongside the most iconic 90s movies, Edward Scissorhands is an award-winning classic directed by Tim Burton. It tells the tale of the eponymous protagonist, who was left unfinished by his creator and finds himself welcomed into the suburban home of a well-meaning family.
Directed by Tim Burton, the romance that blossoms between Edward and the family’s daughter Kim is critical to the story. His relationship with her further emphasizes both his astounding strengths and unique shortcomings. He may be an incomplete science experiment, but Edward is just as capable of love as an ordinary person.
Director Spike Jonze’s Her follows the lonely letter-writer, Theodore Twombly, who tries out a new operating system after a painful breakup. He meets the AI, Samantha, who is unbelievably fun, witty, and sweet. She transforms him in ways he never expected a virtual character could.
Lauded for being groundbreaking and provocative when it was first released, the film is still worth watching again just to see the strange but fascinating relationship between Theodore and Samantha. It’s both an intimate and somber portrait and an expansive and philosophical film that can delight and move audiences.
Pixar’s Wall-E is a movie that needs no introduction. Directed by Andrew Stanton, the animated film is centered on the eponymous robot protagonist, who is left alone on a trash-covered earth with his friend cockroach. His mundane daily routines are interrupted when Eve arrives from outer space and soon, the two robots embark on an exhilarating journey that defines humankind’s future.
Eve and Wall-E are an iconic couple in large part because of the impressive way they display humanlike emotions and romantic gestures (like handholding). It’s impossible not to root for the adorable Wall-E and feel excitement when Eve begins to like him back.
Director Denis Villeneuve’s Arrival revolves around Louise Banks, a linguist who is chosen by the government to assist them in communicating with aliens. The extraterrestrial creatures have complex language, which governments from around the globe are raising to decipher as tensions rise between world leaders.
Alongside Louise through this journey is the physicist, Ian Donnelly, as the two of them courageously work with the aliens to understand what they want. A shockingly brilliant twist soon reveals there’s more to their relationship than meets the eye, with their romance inextricably linked to a tool that can change the planet.
Blade Runner is a classic 80s movie that’s set in a dystopian future where the nefarious Tyrell Corporation manufactures synthetic humans to work in space colonies. Directed by Ridley Scott, it follows the story of the disillusioned detective Rick Deckard, who’s tasked with finding a group of rebellious replicants led by Roy Batty.
The protagonist’s encounter and subsequent romantic relationship with the replicant Rachael is crucial to the story. Rachael initially thinks that she’s actually human, which eventually transforms the way Deckard sees replicants. Their powerful connection is something that still haunts Deckard in Blade Runner 2049.
Director Morten Tyldum’s Passengers takes place on an interstellar ship carrying people to a colony. When two people – Jim Preston and Aurora Lane – mysteriously wake up from hibernation 90 years earlier than they should have, their quest to discover what went wrong leads to a dark truth about their fates.
While it’s from being a perfect film, it does manage to blend together science fiction, romance, comedy, drama, and even survival thriller genres in a commendable way. Jim and Aurora’s relationship is exciting thanks to the striking backdrop that is space and the intriguing challenge they must face.
About Time is an often-overlooked film about time travel. Directed by Richard Curtis, it follows Tim Lake’s experiences after learning that the men in his family can travel back through time. He soon has fun figuring out what he can do to change his past, but soon learns that every action has unpredictable consequences for the future.
Through it all, Tim discovers numerous things about time travel with Mary, a woman he quickly falls in love with after a chance encounter. As Tim and Mary’s relationship progresses, the protagonist begins to understand that time travel doesn’t make him (and those he loves) invincible. The film focuses on these profound and emotional moments that make life worth living.
Director Yorgos Lanthimos’ The Lobster is a bizarre and beautiful film that takes place in a dystopian future where people who are single are sent to a hotel and given 45 days to find a partner – those that don’t are turned into an animal of their choice and sent into the woods. Amidst the pressure and stressful environment, David finds himself falling for someone he shouldn’t.
After he meets someone simply called the “Short Sighted Woman,” they bond over their mutual vision impairment. What transpires between them is nothing short of a wacky, comedic, and heartfelt ride that’s intertwined with the very systems they’re trying to destroy.
Gattaca’s world is one where eugenics has been normalized and people’s DNA defines their future. Written and directed by Andrew Niccol, the widely acclaimed movie follows Vincent Freeman, one of the numerous born as “In-Valids.” Since he isn’t a “Valid,” Vincent has little to no hope of fulfilling his lifelong ambition to go to space.
While coming up with a way to make his dream come true, he meets the Valid, Irene Cassini. She may be a Valid, but she’s hindered by a mistake from before she was born that increases her chances of heart failure. Their budding romance isn’t just engrossing, but it also further underscores the messed up injustices that people like Vincent and Irene go through on a daily basis.
Director Michel Gondry’s Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is a cult classic that takes place in a world where the technology to erase memories exists. Joel Barish angrily decides to remove any trace of his ex-girlfriend Clementine Kruczynski from his mind, as he finds out that she has done the same to him.
What follows is a mind-bending journey inside Joel’s mind, as he is forced to relive his experiences with Clementine starting from the most recent (worst) ones to the oldest (loving) moments. The legendary film takes viewers on an original trip through the subconscious while serving as a reminder that love and heartbreak aren’t as different in value as they seem.
NEXT: The Best Sci-Fi Movies of the Last 10 Years
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