Romance, Love and Inanimate Objects

Forget the noise about a couple coming together, despite their differences or some earth-shattering apocalypse (or whatever contrivance filmmakers decide to come up with). No, today I’m exploring love of a… different nature. Something that you just won’t find in your typical top romance movie lists. Even though everyone’s favorite weatherman Brick Tamland of Anchorman fame may have been joking, others are far more serious. Love is a many splendored thing – and sometimes it can be pretty strange as well.

Lars Lindstrom and “Bianca” in Lars and the Real Girl

How can you have a love story between a man and a [realistic-looking] sex doll? Surprisingly, Lars and the Real Girl isn’t nearly as creepy as you would imagine. Rather, it explores issues of mental illness, connecting with people and the best way to deal with these problems. I can’t think of another actor who could have pulled off such a role besides Ryan Gosling.

Robert the Tire and Sheila in Rubber

The less you know about Quentin Dupieux‘s film before going in, the better. Needless to say the film is unique – absurdity taken to new levels mixed in with quite a bit of meta awareness. The film is not for everyone, but any time a sentient tire pulls off Scanner-levels of violence while following a woman – believe me, you won’t forget it. I guess this is a reversal of the regular norm – an inanimate object falls in love with a person. But is it love? Or just some infatuation? Regardless, it’s a tire who becomes attracted to a woman. And I never thought I would type those words.

Doctor Krieger and His Virtual Girlfriend in “Archer”

For those who don’t watch “Archer,” you really should, it’s hilarious! Krieger is a typical Mad Scientist-type who usually has something completely insane and/or secretive going on. He also has a virtual girlfriend who obviously plays off typical anime/manga tropes. Plus, if films like Cool World and Who Framed Roger Rabbit? have taught me anything – it’s that real women have nothing on cartoons that are drawn “bad”. If you think this concept is bizarre, just know that some people take it to the next level: as is the case of SAL 9000. I didn’t even know such a thing was possible.

Married to the Eiffel Tower

There is an actual disorder called Objectophilia (or Objectum-Sexuality) in which people find themselves attracted to inanimate objects. This documentary focuses on women who have fallen in love with: the Berlin Wall, the Eiffel Tower and a church organ (ha – pun intended?). But men are just as likely to have the same fetish – men have fallen in love (and I mean real love) with cars, trains and even a pillow. I guess it’s not the most dangerous fetish to have – but it would certainly make family reunions a bit awkward.

So just remember next time you express your feelings like “Oh man, I love this burger! It tastes so good!” or “I love this song/movie/book/TV show. It’s the absolute best!” – that there is probably someone out there who takes that kind of thing literally.

Chris Kavan is a critic and chief blogger at and although he loves Star Wars, he’s not in love with Star Wars.

By Erik Samdahl
Related categories: Romance Movies