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The first AI-generated romcom movie to be released this summer and people are already unimpressed

The first AI-generated romcom movie to be released this summer and people are already unimpressed

It's quite a creepy look at the potential future of film.

We've all known it was coming - and now, AI has generated an entire romcom.

Chinese TV maker TCL has announced Next Stop Paris, a film it's created using generative AI and professional voice actors, although the first trailer doesn't exactly seem too convincing.

The film uses a mixture of text-to-video generator called Runway ML and popular image generator Midjourney.

It seems to tell the story of a couple meeting on their way to Paris, and then what looks like a fairly typical whirlwind of romance, swathed in sunsets.

However, the flaws that have plagued generative AI models so far are evident in the trailer - particularly the difficulty of making people look consistent.

From one shot to the next, the two main characters' faces seem to morph and change, remaining stereotypically beautiful but definitely not the same.

It's probably worth clarifying at this point, though, that despite the fanfare it's trying to generate, the movie is likely to be the length of a TV episode, not a feature-length film.

Still, TCL Chief Content Officer Chris Regina told Tom's Hardware: "It is a first for a trailer and for an entertainment company", and argued that "there is tremendous curiosity around AI" which makes using it a "marketing differentiator".

Now, terms like marketing differentiator might not exactly be the most interesting to viewers, but we can only presume there are executives out there whose ears prick up at the words.


Still, Next Stop Paris isn't exactly created by AI from top to bottom - it apparently has a human-written script and was voice-acted by humans, too.

Unsurprisingly, the trailer has been generating some strong reactions from people used to watching actual movies, too.

When it was posted on Reddit, for example, the top comment under the post read: "That is disgusting and no one should be supporting movies made by AI."

That's a strong stance, but another user echoed it, writing: "Wow. No, thanks. And what’s the point of making a fully AI-powered movie if it’s by definition going to be the most mediocre, average movie ever?"

The YouTube version of the trailer, meanwhile, has its comments section disabled - which doesn't necessarily mean anything, but could indicate that TCL didn't expect a unanimously positive reception for its work.

As with so much AI-generated content, this will probably end up in a middle ground. It'll impress those who are interested in AI's potential, while revolting those who think AI is a needless step that we'd be better off without.

Featured Image Credit: TCLtvplus/YouTube