Life Like (2019) – Summary, Review (with Spoilers)

Title card for the movie Life Like (2019)
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Life Like may leave you with a handful of questions, but one character named Henry brings enough intrigue to forget every moment which makes you raise an eyebrow.


Director(s) Josh Janowicz
Screenplay By Josh Janowicz
Date Released 5/14/2019
Genre(s) Sci-Fi, Drama
Good If You Like Psychological Dramas

Young Married Couples

Random Nudity

Isn’t For You If You Aren’t Much For Self-Righteous Comments About Having People Be Domestic Help
Noted Cast
James Drew Van Acker
Sophie Addison Timlin
Julian James D’Arcy
Henry Steven Strait

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Life Like Plot Summary

James was a trust fund kid who, with his father dying, assumes the role of CEO of said company. With that comes moving away from the city into a mansion, and bringing his wife Sophie along. Someone who doesn’t work, just has hobbies, and feels uncomfortable with James having a butler, a maid/ cook, so she fires them. Which leads to a bit of hardship for James since he apparently is expected to pick up their slack.

This leads to him convincing Sophie to come with him to meet Julian, a man who sells AI robots. Which, I should note, are not the norm in Life Like but a new technology that Julian has been perfecting after his father invented them. But, complications arise as soon as Sophie sees mostly female robots and her insecurities pop up. So, to qualm her worries, since apparently these robots are anatomically correct, Henry, a male robot, is chosen.

At first, this works for both James and Sophie as he does what James needs and makes for a decent companion to Sophie. However, as Henry’s childlike brain becomes curious, picks up on the emotions of the house, as well as James and Sophie as individuals, complications arise. The kind which neither expected to happen.

 

Question(s) Left Unanswered

  1. Why didn’t Sophie have a job?

Collected Quote(s) or .Gifs

[…] sharing your fears makes you vulnerable and being vulnerable is the birthplace of love.
— Henry

Love is unconditional, and lust is conditional.
— Henry

[…] Lust probably feels much like love, until it’s time for sacrifices to be made.
— Henry

Highlights

Henry

Henry (Steven Strait) walking down from upstairs.
Henry (Steven Strait)

What will keep you watching until the end is Henry. For as you see him molded by Sophie, challenging James, and there becoming the driver behind Life Like becoming this weirdly sexual psychological drama, it’s clear he is the star and as for James and Sophie? They are just strong supporting roles. Ones made for him to play with, potentially turn on each other, while he gets all the benefits of their fears, desires, and insecurities.

Criticism

Sophie May Get On Your Nerves

As noted above, Sophie doesn’t work and also had an issue with James having domestic help. In fact, it messed with her so much that when she fired the help, she gave them two years pay just to add insult to injury. All of which was James’ money and she made the decision without talking to him at all. But her getting on your nerves doesn’t end there. After firing them, she calls James at work talking about how bad the grass is getting and often calls him at work while she isn’t shown doing much.

Oh, my bad, she reupholsters one chair. That, reads, and lounges all day like the kept woman she is pushed to seem.

On The Fence

You’re Investment In Sophie & James’ Relationship May Not Be High

James (Drew Van Acker) and Sophie (Addison Timlin) in bed together.
James (Drew Van Acker) and Sophie (Addison Timlin)

Here is the thing, while Acker and Timlin are cute and young, they don’t have much in the way of chemistry. Also, with the way their relationship is setup, while it is clear James likes her beyond her looks, it isn’t clearly defined what beyond her looks is what led to him marrying her. While it is made clear they met in college and enjoy literature, being that college seems long ago, we don’t see them bond over discussing books like Great Expectations. We just see them during a rough patch which makes Henry coming in between them not a huge deal since they seem like they weren’t that great of a match.

When The Unexpected Happens

The twist is good, but I can’t say the build to it, and the fallout matches the shock. In fact, the fallout kind of takes away from it honestly.

Overall: Mixed (Divisive)

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Life Like is held together by Strait’s performance and proves how it really only takes one good actor, one good character, to make a movie decent. For while Acker and Timlin are adequate, without Strait, they would just be another boring, young, privileged couple who you’d want to roll your eyes at. Hence the mixed label. Life Like survives strictly by relying on one character, Henry, who makes or breaks the film. So if Strait doesn’t win you over, likely you will not enjoy this film.

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