10 movies for engineers for Valentine’s Day
It's all about love and robots and stuff
Engineers are not like other people. They see the world in a very different way from us non-technical folks. And so an engineer may have a different notion of what elements make up a good romantic movie.
For example, try seating an engineer in front of “The Notebook,” and yawning and complaining will probably ensue before Ryan Gosling even steps into frame. We imagine that to an engineer, some of the criteria for a great romantic movie may include, say, robots, airplanes and/or a space adventure or two. Add a well-crafted spacecraft (say, the size of a city), or an emotional robot with a heart of gold, and you can’t go wrong.
Here’s a Valentine’s Day guide to movies, loaded with love and also really cool other stuff an engineer will enjoy:
1. Star Trek (all of them) – Why? Captain Kirk was pretty hunky back in the days of the original cast. Yes, William Shatner and the other engineers aboard the Starship Enterprise were all portrayed as heroes, and they always got the girls (yes, plural). And also, I imagine every engineer sitting there trying to figure out how to be transported from one place to another.
2. Transformers (all of them) – Why? Megan Fox. If that weren’t reason enough, also because of the cool warrior robots who turn into vehicles, then back into robots again, in a matter of seconds. Patrick doesn’t see where the love is in this. Hello? Megan Fox. And lots of robots. If you’re an engineer, you’re feeling all the love in the world.
3. Good Will Hunting, 1997 – Why? Matt Damon. And a great story about a hard-knock genius who cleans floors at Harvard, and in the end comes to terms with his past, reluctantly embraces his talent and leaves everything behind to “go see about a girl.”
4. Spaceballs, 1987 – Why? Because choosing Star Wars would have been too obvious. This Mel Brooks movie has it all – romance, action, spaceships and the hilarious Rick Moranis as the father of all fathers. Patrick hates this pick. Patrick also has a limited sense of humor.
5. Back to the Future, 1985 – Why? Michael J. Fox. And because for 1985, engineers have to agree that the construction of the DeLorean time machine was pretty sophisticated! Even Patrick agrees on this one. But these days, we have to imagine that they could forgo the plutonium and bananas for fuel, and make it electric (pretty sure someone at ABB can help with that).
NOTE: I realize I have officially aged myself, as most of the movies I mentioned came out over 20 years ago.
1. A.I., Artificial Intelligence, 2001 – This movie, dear Ilona, should actually come before your whole list. In fact, it should tower over your list. Twice. A cute little (robot) teddy bear, a cute little (robot) boy and the oh so cute (love robot) Jude Law – what more do you want in a Valentine’s Day movie? Clearly, this rocks.
2. I, robot, 2004 – If you’re into robots (and I guess all engineers are), this movie should be on your bucket list. It’s all about the 3 laws of robotics and the question of how human robots will be in future.
3. Armageddon, 1998 – He = leaving on a jet plane. She = Liv Tyler. Oh, and then there’s that great russian engineer, who saves the entire mission by beating up one very important part of the space shuttle with a wrench. To me, that’s just great engineering.
4. Inception, 2010 – Oh, the things you do for love. In this awesome dream-awake-dream-awake-dream movie, Leo (my personal idol) is driven by the loss of his wife and the subsequent separation from his kids. Ilona would have loved to put this on her list, but she simply didn’t understand the movie.
5. Looper, 2012 – The latest of the greatest. I’d say that time travel is to engineers what walking in flat shoes is to Ilona: unimaginable. And Looper is all about time travel… and Emily Blunt. That girl could take on Megan Fox any day (that’s right, Ms. Braverman).
In the end, finding the right mix of robots and love seems to be the perfect cocktail for engineering romance. So what are your favorites?
Happy Valentine’s Day!