The development of computers, the Internet and social media has moved beyond assisting us with the boilerplate aspects of our lives. Our new digitally remastered lives aren’t just long-form versions of GE commercials that ramble on about synergy and efficiency. Technology now finds itself embedded in our brains affecting how we see and relate to damn near everything.
And nowhere is that shift more evident than in our romantic relationships. Dating has changed. Texting, email, online dating sites, long-distance relationships held together with little more than Skype calls and new forms of etiquette developed from social media have all added variety to our culture’s love stories.
But while the stories of how we met our significant others seem to have changed suddenly with every innovation, the evolution has really been gradual and the journey stretches further back into history than you think.
You can see how far we’ve come in love and tech by perusing our chronological list of 10 Tech-Based Romantic Comedies. Read on and relive your favorite moments from this list of rom-com films that feature technology.
A Katherine Hepburn/Spencer Tracy classic, the movie features the head of a TV network research department and a recently hired efficiency expert who fall in love while grappling with clashing interests: the desire to modernize and techno-phobia. The result is a funny, warm depiction of romance and how people initially reacted to computers.
What was it again? If you can’t date them, design one? Well, that’s exactly what Anthony Michael Hall’s character and his friend did, with hilariously unexpected consequences. Their ideal woman came to life, taught them how to be dateable and took what was initially a creepy use of technology and turned it into a victory for misfit nerds everywhere. She is superhuman after all.
The quintessential tech-based romantic comedy. Rivals away from the computer screen, characters Joe and Kathleen (Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan) unknowingly fall in love with each other via an email relationship and humorously deal with a number of common online dating issues. And come on, it is kind of adorable to see Hanks and Ryan get so excited over AOL Mail.
While photo booths aren’t exactly a recent tech improvement, it’s still pretty cool that the eponymous protagonist’s own epic romance begins at a photo booth.
“Mate Shopping. Yeah, it’s kinda like going online to buy a pair of pants except there’s going to be a guy in them.” Recently divorced, Diane Lane’s character gets signed up for an online dating site and after a few disastrous dates including a crier and a guy with a toupee, she finally meets the man of her dreams—a man who does not own but loves dogs anyway.
What do you do when your love life has suddenly fallen apart? You log on to a home-swapping site and pretty much switch lifestyles with a stranger to get away from it all. The leading ladies of The Holiday did that and ended up with guys as “insanely good-looking” as Jude Law and as charming and funny as Jack Black. See? Sometimes the internet doesn’t lead to meeting creepers or serial killers. If you’re Cameron Diaz, you’ll totally meet Jude Law.
This one doesn’t use the internet as a way to bring people together. In an interesting twist, technology is used to provide obstacles for an already committed couple. For example, a deranged priest uses surveillance equipment to monitor Mandy Moore and John Krasinski’s relationship as part of a three-week program designed by the priest to determine if they are, in fact, ready to get married. Also, you just have to watch the creepy robot babies scene.
It doesn’t matter that the stars of this movie aren’t ridiculously attractive human celebrities. That’s the beauty of it. It’s the epic love story between two pieces of technology. It’s boy-robot meets girl-robot, and it’s wonderful.
And we’re back to a story of two pretty humans falling in love. Except this time, it’s centered around an technological innovation that hasn’t even been invented yet. The movie poses intriguing questions: Would you really want to take the guesswork out of love? Is love about the journey or the destination?
This movie takes love triangles to a whole new level. Technology doesn’t inspire love among this rom-com trio. It’s used as a weapon in a battle between best friends and CIA agents for the affections of Reese Witherspoon’s character.