‘Foe,’ helmed by director Garth Davis, is a 2023 sci-fi romance set in 2065 on a dystopic earth. It follows a married couple, Hen and Junior, living on a desolate farm. While they are very much in love, Hen often wonders if she is meant for something greater, having had very little exposure in her life. A stranger named Terrance appears at their door one day, to interview the couple for a mission in space to work on a ship.
The catch is that he needs Junior to go, and leave behind his wife with a flesh-and-blood-clone of himself until he returns. In their few days left together, the couple go through a whirlwind of emotions, unsure of every aspect of the decision. The exploration of romances in sci-fi settings can open a door to some very unique and passionate scenarios, leading to the exploration of a variety of themes in other movies like ‘Foe.‘
8. Upside Down (2012)
‘Upside Down,’ directed by Juan Solanas, revolves around Adam and Eden, who live on neighboring planets with opposite gravitational forces. Despite their contrasting worlds, they fall in love during their childhood. However, strict societal rules and gravitational differences separate them. Years later, Adam discovers that Eden is alive and working for TransWorld, the corporation exploiting gravity. Driven by love, Adam sets out on a risky quest to reunite with Eden, defying the laws of physics.
Their star-crossed love journey becomes a symbol of defying odds, challenging social barriers, and seeking to bridge the gap between two divergent worlds. Similar to ‘Foe,’ the romance in the film is threatened by a unique sci-fi scenario along with a mega-corporation that exploits the phenomenon. If the theme of being separated by destiny appeals to you in ‘Foe,’ this gravity-switching romance will make its way to your heart.
7. Another Earth (2011)
Helmed by Mike Cahill, ‘Another Earth’ is a thought-provoking sci-fi film that centers around Rhoda Williams, a young woman whose life drastically changes after a tragic accident. While driving home intoxicated after a night of celebration, Rhoda unintentionally causes a fatal car crash, taking the lives of a family. Subsequently, she serves a prison sentence and struggles with overwhelming guilt and remorse. However, a discovery of a parallel Earth, identical to ours, offers a glimmer of hope and redemption.
Fascinated by the idea of another chance and the possibility of finding peace, Rhoda seeks solace in exploring the existence of this mirror world. Amid her quest for forgiveness and self-discovery, she forms an unexpected connection with John Burroughs, a grieving widower. Like the couple in ‘Foe,’ Rhoda and John face separation when one of them is tempted by a new world of possibilities and opportunities. Using its sci-fi setting, the narrative orients itself towards the exploration of redemption and escapism, for one looking to find her place in this world or another.
6. The 6th Day (2000)
With Roger Spottiswoode at the helm, ‘The 6th Day’ takes us to a near future where human cloning is a reality. Adam Gibson(Arnold Schwarzenegger) is a helicopter pilot whose life turns upside down when he discovers a clone of himself living in his house. After escaping an assassination attempt, he delves into uncovering the truth behind the illegal cloning operation that threatens his life and identity.
Along the way, he encounters scientists, corporations, and law enforcement agents involved in a complex web of deceit and ethical dilemmas surrounding the manipulation of human life. If you were fascinated by the possibility of a clone taking someone’s place in ‘Foe,’ ‘The 6th Day,’ will further explore the idea with themes of identity, morality, and the ethical implications of advanced biotechnology.
5. The Lobster (2015)
Directed by Yorgos Lanthimos, ‘The Lobster’ is a dystopian satire set in a society where single individuals beyond an age are compelled to find romantic partners within 45 days of their stay at a hotel. If unsuccessful, they’re transformed into animals of their choice. David (Colin Farrell) navigates this bizarre world after being left by his wife. He desperately attempts to form a relationship, even faking shared traits to woo the unresponsive residents. If the conversation of loneliness and the human desire for connection interested you in ‘Foe,’ ‘The Lobster’ expands further upon it with a darkly comedic approach to societal pressures and the absurdities of conformity.
4. Replicas (2018)
‘Replicas,’ by director Jeffrey Nachmanoff, centers around William Foster, a neuroscientist who loses his family in a tragic car accident. Foster becomes determined to bring them back to life. Employing cutting-edge technology and breaking several laws, he endeavors to clone and resurrect his deceased wife and children. Successful in his operation, it is not long before his cloned wife realizes something is wrong, and he is forced to confess the truth. For those who were intrigued by the prospect of Junior being replaced with a clone in ‘Foe,’ this sci-fi feature will take the conversation further, posing profound questions about the human condition and the lengths one would go to bring back lost loved ones.
3. The Space Between Us (2017)
Gardner, a boy born on Mars during a space mission, longs to visit Earth to meet his online friend Tulsa, uncover the mysteries of his past, and find his father. Despite the health risks posed to him by Earth’s atmosphere, Gardner travels to Earth and meets Tulsa. Together, they embark on a journey across the country, experiencing the wonders and challenges of Earth. As Gardner discovers the beauty of the world he’s only seen from afar, their bond grows stronger, igniting a touching relationship that defies the vast space that separates them.
Under the direction of Peter Chelsom, the sci-fi romance explores the beauty of Earth, as well as the universal driving force of a budding romance. While ‘Foe’ saw its established couple being torn because of the distance of space, ‘The Space Between Us’ explores the opposite scenario, of two people living worlds apart, finding each other, and sharing a fulfilling relationship.
2. The Age of Adaline (2015)
Under the direction of Lee Toland Krieger, ‘The Age of Adaline’ looks at the experiences of a woman who stops aging, her life of solitude, and its invigoration by the spark of love. After a bizarre accident, Adaline Bowman ceases to age and remains perpetually 29 years old for nearly eight decades. Living a reclusive life to conceal her immortality, Adaline avoids emotional entanglements and evades anyone for fear of revealing her secret.
However, when she meets Ellis, a charismatic philanthropist, her resolve begins to falter. As Adaline finds herself drawn to Ellis, she grapples with the idea of revealing her extraordinary past and allowing herself to embrace love once again. Like ‘Foe,’ the romance in ‘The Age of Adaline’ takes place under extraordinary circumstances. While Adaline has a lifetime she can spend with Ellis, much like Hen, she is faced with the prospect of heartbreak in letting him go one day.
1. The Time Traveler’s Wife (2009)
‘The Time Traveler’s Wife’ follows the story of Henry DeTamble, a Chicago librarian who involuntarily time travels due to a genetic anomaly. The narrative navigates his complicated relationship with Clare Abshire, who has known him since she was a child. Despite their profound love, Henry’s uncontrolled time leaps cause unpredictable absences, challenging their bond and creating hurdles in their efforts to live a normal life together. At certain points in time, she would have very little knowledge of their relationship, when he would have traveled back from a time after their marriage. In other instances, he would meet a version of her that has spent a lifetime with him.
While the romance in ‘Foe’ is threatened by space, here it faces time and its inconsistencies as an obstacle. Under the direction of Robert Schwentke, the plot unfolds through a non-linear narrative, showcasing the emotional struggles, sacrifices, and enduring commitment between Henry and Clare as they attempt to find stability amidst the unpredictable nature of time.
Read More: Foe: Do Hen and Junior End Up Together?