Made for Love Image

NEW TO HBO MAX! The first episode of the thriller-sci-fi-comedy Made for Love, “You’re User One,” effectively establishes a perfect and contemporary future world, which is lush and stylish but still ground. The setting is somewhere in the southwest United States. A desert, to be precise. Everything appears to be impoverished, seedy, and broke. This sets the stage for how eccentric and intelligent people are scheming to control certain things. The creation of these devices and control mechanisms mirror guru tech billionaires of our present day. It’s creepy yet fascinating.

When we meet Hazel Green (Cristin Milioti), she’s on the run, as she emerges a wet mess in a once seemingly couture dress in the middle of a dusty, desert road from a water drain. We don’t know from what she’s narrowly escaping… yet. The “what” ends up being a who: her husband, Byron Gogol (Billy Magnussen). He is a tech billionaire and psychopathic narcissist who controls her life and everything in it, including her orgasms.

[Byron] controls Hazel by way of a monitoring device…”

He controls Hazel by way of a monitoring device he implanted in her without her knowledge. As we get to know her, she becomes increasingly funny and likable. The story of how she and her husband are “made for love” is slowly peeled back but not completely revealed. Through a variety of people, places, and attitudes, the plot emerges, keeping you very engaged in all its twisted thinking and the characters who cross Hazel’s escape route.

The incredible storyline is engaging, and the first episode brilliantly sets up future episodes of Made for Love. Learning more about Hazel’s world and how Byron refuses to give her up because they are “made for love” will be engaging and fun to follow, if a bit intense. There are references to the state of U.S. politics and how people are existing, which adds to the sci-fi, thriller element and is proves most accurate to where our real technology is heading, especially for those who are not billionaires. It is a poignant tale, and if the whole season is this good, the series will be a smashing success.

Made for Love screened at the 2021 SXSW Film Festival.

Made for Love (2021)

Directed: S.J. Clarkson

Written: Alissa Nutting, Patrick Somerville

Starring: Cristin Milioti, Billy Magnussen, Ione Skye, Ray Romano, Noma Dumezweni, Dan Bakkedahl, etc.

Movie score: 8/10

Made for Love Image

"…a smashing success."

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