I was kind of into it at the time, but Stanley Kubrick & Steven Spielberg's A.I. is one of those movies I just can't watch since becoming a parent. [Also on that list: Marc Forster's dystopian suburban stillbirth saga, Everything Put Together; and Stephen Gaghan's electrified terror mosaic, Syriana.]
Noel Murray's disturbing and compelling look back at A.I. and the single, creepy licensed product it produced, the Super Toy Teddy talking bear, captures the gutwrench perfectly.
It also makes me want to give the film another try:
I bought Super Toy Teddy as a joke, because A.I.--and the Teddy scene at the end--hit Donna and me pretty hard. She was about six months pregnant when we saw A.I., and the movie spoke to all our fears about having a kid. A.I. ticks the boxes of all the common parental anxieties. Monica isn't entirely sure what's safe or unsafe for David to do, or how to handle it when he malfunctions. She doesn't know how to answer when David asks if she's going to die someday, since she knows that thing she's programmed to bond with her will likely outlive her by centuries, and then what's he supposed to do? The "imprinting" process between Monica and David is so quick and half-considered--not unlike the moment of conception for many parents.
Murray posted a video of his Super Teddy talking, and it is truly creeping me the hell out. Are these recordings real? What were these toy people thinking?
What movies imbue you with existential dread or anxiety and shake you to your parental core? Tell us in the comments!