Aug. 12, 2021

Love in Unexpected Places: Her/City of Angels/ Tangled Wires

Love in Unexpected Places: Her/City of Angels/ Tangled Wires

Intimacy and love can be found in the most unexpected places. In sci-fi and fantasy-tinged romance, that means online, offline, synthetic or organic, from a lab, with creatures on earth or heaven above. Open hearts find love everywhere.

Movies/TV Show

Her inspires so many questions: what is true intimacy? Is love chemistry, an accident of fate or a created experience? It's visually interesting, the sound design is stunning, the acting is superb, and the script is thought-provoking. Its multi-talented director Spike Jonze won an Academy Award for the screenplay. Many have taken a stab at analyzing this intriguing movie.

City of Angels is based on the 1987 Wim Wenders film Wings of Desire. It's a much less complex, but still beautiful--if tragic--love story. Meg Ryan was in her prime, and Nicolas Cage was never better (excepting Moonstruck of course).

I wrote a whole college paper on Wings of Desire. There's so much to unpack in this beautiful film, especially the idea of beings on another astral plane witnessing, supporting and loving human beings through their desires, fears and earthly suffering.

Upload is a heartwarming dramedy series that imagines a subscription-based virtual afterlife, except "Heaven" is a luxury mountain resort that you could probably never afford while alive, complete with angel-like customer service reps. The central romance between an angel and her digital charge is the slowest of slowburns, and when they finally express their love for each other, the series ends. They're planning a S2, so hopefully we get more of this couple.


Sci-fi and fantasy romance is a brand new thing for me, and I was shocked at how much I loved the sci-fi romance Tangled Wires. The tone of this book is as cool and smart as I'd imagine a human-android relationship might be, and there's a fascinating plot twist, too, to prove we're not always in charge of experience--or love.

Well, leave it to the academics to be buzzkills about love :) This multi-year metaphysical philosophy project attempts to define love: Emotion? Experience? Desire? Biological urge? 

The old-school modem sound effect in this episode is used under a Creative Commons license from