Spike Jonze’s Her finally expands to theaters nationwide this weekend, at which point the rest of America will get to desire sentient, sexy smartphones and high-waisted pants and hologram video games and a service that writes our letters for us. And if you notice (I admit, I didn’t), you’ll also want to live in this wonderful new world because of its lack of automobiles. Her might just have one of the most perfect-looking futures ever depicted in a movie.
But perhaps the best is still Back to the Future Part II. Instead of no cars, there are flying cars. Instead of high-waisted pants, there are inside-out pants. And there’s still a lot voice-activated systems and things that talk to you, just maybe not with artificial intelligence. Plus, that movie promised us hoverboards. If you went by how much people have been talking about those things in the past 25 years, you’d think that if they did come true they’d be the most popular new consumer item since the microwave or VCR. Whereas in reality I bet it’d be a short fad, likely because they’re really actually not that cool or convenient.
Outside of Her and Back to the Future Part II, there aren’t a whole lot of movies set in the future where things mostly look hopeful. If there are any at all. Dystopias, whether exaggerated or developed within reason of where things seem to be headed, have been the more common form of futuristic sci-fi cinema for close to a century. There are movies that have balanced outlooks, where some things look better and other things look worse, such as in A.I. Artificial Intelligence, Minority Report, The Fifth Element, Gattaca, Demolition Man, 2001: A Spacy Odyssey and Wall-E.
We don’t get to see a whole lot of the future world in the new movie Mr. Nobody, but the fact that humans become immortal sounds pretty optimistic. And there’s always Star Trek, which is pretty nice until you have run-ins with nonpeaceful aliens. And the future of Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, so long as Wyld Stallyns succeed in making the world totally excellent. But I’m going to go with Jetsons: The Movie. It’s been a few decades since I saw it, but I can’t think of another utopian future better than the one there.
Which movie’s depiction of the future do you want to come true?
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