Chinese TV manufacturer TCL has announced what appears to be the first-ever AI-generated romantic comedy, called "Next Stop Paris" — something that absolutely nobody asked for.

As expected, the execution leaves plenty to be desired. The 60-second trailer, which the company posted on YouTube, is a Kafkaesque mess of distorted faces and garbled landscapes, setting up a generic meet-cute between the feature's two face-morphing protagonists, who look dramatically different in almost every shot.

As Kotaku pointed out, the AI couldn't even generate an accurate picture of a clock tower, helplessly garbling the Roman numerals on its face.

"In life's journey, sometimes the heart moves too fast, or too slow," a narrator says over the trailer, raising even more questions about the movie's murky plot. "But if you time it just right, that's when love arrives."


The trailer is such a mess that we can't help but wonder if TCL was weeks late to April Fools' Day. What kind of human would even want to watch such a movie? Is this supposed to be some kind of joke?

In Tom's Hardware's analysis, it's likely more of a marketing stunt than a serious release.

It's also not full-length; the company says it's eyeing an ever-so-slightly less excruciating length of a TV episode.

"It is a first for a trailer and for an entertainment company," TCL Chief Content Officer Chris Regina told Tom's Hardware.

"There is tremendous curiosity around AI," he boasted. "It's a marketing differentiator."

According to Regina, TCL used a text-to-video generator called Runway ML and popular image generator Midjourney to produce the trailer.

As to the shapeshifting protagonists, Regina assured Tom's Hardware that his team was already working on "character consistency."

It wasn't entirely produced by AI. The script was allegedly written by a person, the voices were from real voice actors, and the music was actually performed by a human band, per Tom's Hardware.

"We’ve brought together a best-in-class global workforce who value the collaboration for more unique perspectives and diversity in the development space," chief creative officer Daniel Smith told Broadcasting+Cable.

But if the trailer is any indication, that workforce could've been put to much better use by working on an actual movie produced by humans.

Even the company's press release seems like a garbled word soup, likely dreamed up by a chatbot.

"The AI technology used to create these characters and fictional world allows the creative teams to push boundaries and invigorate the viewer experience, while also creating new opportunities for marketing partners," it reads.

We also have some serious doubts about whether "Next Stop Paris" will ever even get made — or whether it'll die in the form of a boisterous press release that shamelessly cashes in on unfiltered AI hype.

Per the trailer, though, the movie will drop this "summer."

"The work is never finished until delivered, much like all film and TV production," Regina told Tom's Hardware.

More on generative AI: Netflix Uses Seemingly AI-Manipulated Images in True Crime Doc

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