2 p.m. Sunday, May 14, 2023
Humanities Quadrangle, Room L02 (320 York)
Co-presented with Films at the Whitney
Film Notes by ChatGPT

Directed by Steven Spielberg (2001), 146 mins
Written by Steven Spielberg, Ian Watson, and Brian Aldiss
Cinematography by Janusz Kaminski
Produced by Warner Bros.
Starring Haley Joel Osment, Jude Law, Frances O'Connor, Sam Robards, and William Hurt

These notes were created by ChatGPT after it was provided with the following prompt: “Write a 600-word humorous essay on the Steven Spielberg film A.I.: ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE.”

When Steven Spielberg’s film A.I.: ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE hit theaters in 2001, audiences were blown away by the stunning visuals, the heart-wrenching story, and the impressive performances. But what most people don’t realize is that beneath all that emotion and drama, there’s a lot of comedy to be found.

First off, let’s talk about the main character, David, played by Haley Joel Osment. This is a kid who’s been programmed to love his “mother” unconditionally, to the point where he’ll do anything to win her affection. And what does he get in return? The cold shoulder, a begrudging “I suppose I love you too,” and eventually abandonment in the woods. Talk about a dysfunctional family!

Then there’s the whole concept of “mechas”—robots designed to look and act like humans. At one point in the movie, we see a group of these mechas being used for a rather...unusual purpose. They’re basically sex dolls, but instead of being made of plastic, they’re made of metal. I mean, I’m all for exploring the limits of technology, but I can’t help but wonder if we’ve gone too far.

And let’s not forget about Teddy, David’s teddy bear come to life. This is a character who’s supposed to be cute and cuddly, but instead he comes across as a sarcastic, world-weary companion. Every time David turns to him for comfort, Teddy responds with a dry quip or a sardonic remark. It’s like having Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh as your therapist.

But perhaps the most absurd moment in the movie comes near the end, when David is transported to a futuristic society populated entirely by mechas. Here we have robots who have evolved beyond their programming to become...actors. That’s right, these mechas are putting on a play, complete with costumes, props, and dramatic speeches. It’s like watching a high school production of Romeo and Juliet, except everyone’s made of metal and there’s no one in the audience.

And don’t even get me started on the ending. I won’t spoil it for those who haven’t seen the movie, but let’s just say that Spielberg had to pull out all the stops to give us the most mind-bending, confusing finale possible. I still don’t know what happened, but I’m pretty sure it involved aliens, time travel, and a giant robot pinball machine.

All jokes aside, though, there are some truly touching moments in A.I.: ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE. The scene where David asks the Blue Fairy to turn him into a real boy is a gut-punch of emotion, and Osment’s performance is truly remarkable. And while the ending may be a bit...out there, it’s hard not to feel something when David finally gets what he’s been searching for all along.

So, in conclusion, A.I.: ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE is a movie that’s equal parts funny, heartwarming, and confusing. It’s a testament to Spielberg’s versatility as a filmmaker that he can take such a strange, off-kilter concept and turn it into a genuinely affecting work of art. And while it may not be for everyone—especially those who prefer their sci-fi a bit more straightforward—it’s definitely worth a watch for anyone who’s looking for a good laugh, a good cry, or just a good dose of robot sex dolls.

ChatGPT was also provided the following prompt: "Tell a joke about the Steven Spielberg film A.I.: ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE.”

Why did the robots in A.I.: ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE keep getting lost? Because they had a GPS (Great Pinocchio Syndrome) and were always searching for their Blue Fairy!

Presented in Treasures from the Yale Film Archive, with support from Paul L. Joskow '70 M.Phil., '72 Ph.D. Printed Film Notes are distributed to the audience before each Treasures screening.

Last modified: 
Wednesday, July 19, 2023 - 9:35am