Jean-Luc Godard never made a conventional movie, so it would be silly to expect his science fiction film "Alphaville" to be a typical entry in the genre. The "future" looks a lot like 1960s Paris, for instance. But this is still a scifi romance for the ages, featuring an omnipotent computer called Alpha 60 that rules over the city of the future and doesn't allow love or emotion of any kind to flourish. In the end, love triumphs over all. Man, this really is science fiction.
"Time After Time"
How's this for a fantastic movie premise: HG Wells, author of "The Time Machine" is a real time traveler, right? And he lives in the same city as Jack the Ripper, right? And he's friends with Jack the Ripper, although he doesn't know it, and Jack the Ripper steals Wells' time machine and takes it to 1970s San Francisco, and Wells has to follow him there to bring him to justice. If you don't want to watch this movie now, you're a lost cause. Add to that fantastic hook the fact that this a delightful romantic romp featuring a charming Malcolm McDowell and a never-better Mary Steenburgen, and you have a crowd-pleaser in the best sense of the word.
It's a well-known fact that all women secretly love Jean-Claude Van Damme. And this is the closest he ever came to making a true scifi romance, starring as a police officer whose job it is to stop people from illegally traveling through time and disrupting the past and future. Lots of twisty time travel paradoxes follow, with an ending that has Van Damme saving his murdered wife and coming home to a parallel timeline that gives him the family he always wanted. Confused? Maybe your girlfriend can explain it to you.
"Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind"
This cult anti-romcom might not have any aliens or time machines, but the premise of a service that allows heartsick people to erase the memories of the one who broke their hearts is as fantastic as they come (for now, anyway). And like most good science fiction, it teaches a valuable lesson: That even painful memories are valuable, and without them we'd probably keep making the same mistakes over and over again anyway. More than we do already, that is.
Wong Kar-Wai is the master of heart-breakingly romantic films, and he adds a science fiction twist in this sequel to his "In The Mood for Love." "2046" follows the writer from the latter movie as he struggles to write an epic science fiction story involving the year 2046, but what he's actually writing about is his doomed love affair, which he can't seem to get off of his mind. The science fiction imagery and the romantic themes are equally beautiful, giving everybody something to write home about.