Love Object 2003 Movie Desmond Harrington as Kenneth Winslow looking at the newly arrived sex toy in a form of a life-like woman with blond hair

Love Object [2003]

While we are talking about rare and original movies, Love Object comes to mind. Again this is a mixture of several genres, that are blended perfectly although seemingly comedy and horror do not go so well with psychological thrillers. Examining alienation, sexual frustration and modern society Robert Parigi created something that seems like an alternate universe, but soon you will realize that we all live in it. 

Lars and The Real Girl was released four years later featuring almost exactly the same story. Finally, you can go past the whole inanimate object (wonder what Ralph Fiennes would have to say about that) and check out Her [2013], a movie where Joaquin Phoenix falls in love with AI. And if that prompted you to look for movies with female AI’s I strongly recommend Ex Machina with the beautiful Alicia Vikander. Although as an eighties movie fan I also have to mention Weird Science. I mean Rabbit Reviews is a movie recommendation site after all. 

Now, when you’re fully stocked on movies let’s continue with our review. Starring phenomenal Desmond Harrington (Wrong Turn), as Kenneth, a weird and alienated technical writer, Love Object was counting on him not to fuck up. His subdued performance with a lot of boiling emotions underneath the calm veneer really brought home the point the director was trying to make. It makes the job of understanding his psyche much easier. We also have a couple of familiar faces in supporting roles. Rip Torn and Udo Kier gave that official vibe to the movie, making it even more realistic.

Kenneth works as a technical writer in a corporation, pretty much separated from the real world. Living in his own gray world, he’s socially awkward and has trouble establishing communication that’s not work-related to other people. The mundane and repetitive life of Kenneth is about to change as he orders a new type of life-like doll, originally intended as a sexual tool, she looks very human. He calls her Nikki.

With a rather dark and almost perverse atmosphere, Love Object casually switches to dark comedy and then back to the horror holding to that raw vibe all the time. Authentic and thought-provoking, it explores so many current issues. I know I recommended a lot of movies so far, but here’s one more recommendation: The Good Doctor

One of the more interesting themes explored here is also the alienation that comes with our modern way of life. Shot in 2003, this movie predates the huge working-from-home explosion that happened in subsequent years. We can estimate that there are now more people in this position than ever was in the history of humanity. Completely cut off from society and without working relationships with other humans. I count myself among them, not to get too dark on ya. There’s nothing wrong with cutting off people from your environment, especially those toxic assholes. You don’t hate Mondays you hate capitalism. I’ve almost resisted mentioning Office Space here. 

We can also discuss the lack of any desire for change that the system has beaten out of our protagonist a long time ago. He has given up on love and is now in deep throes of depression. Was he actually looking for a way out? Could this introduction of a new dynamic in his life be a lifeline that he even wasn’t aware he needed? What makes things even more intriguing is the fact that he didn’t come up with the idea of ordering a sex doll. Dotson, his colleague from work is the one who put the idea in his head.

How do you communicate with other humans? Is there any purpose for that communication? How can you and should you try to establish relationships with other people? You would think that the answers to these questions obvious and the movie sort of nudges the viewer in a certain direction, but they are actually much more complicated and messy. Just like life is. This transition from the tribal system of values to fully developed individualism is going to be a tricky one…

Director: Robert Parigi

Cast: Desmond Harrington, Melissa Sagemiller, Udo Kier, Rip Torn, Robert Bagnell

Fun Facts: The film was shot in 18 days.


IMDb Link: 

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