Pay no attention to the O.S. behind the curtain; it actually sees you for who you are. You’ll project and it will reflect at warp speed.
Hello moviegoers, from the mind of writer director Spike Jonze comes this funny and original love story ‘Her’, which is the most thoughtful and complete vision of what human non-human relationships on an intimate level might look like in a future that is present as not being that far away.
Joaquin Phoenix gives a nuanced performance in a role that requires it, as Theodore Twombly a letter writer at beautifulhandwrittenletters.com. He has been divorced for about a year pending the signing of the divorce papers and has largely withdrawn to a life of work and playing videos games when he falls in love with Samantha.
‘Her’ (3 ½ sweet potatoes out of four) Stars: Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams, Scarlett Johansson, Chris Pratt, Rooney Mara, Olivia Wilde; Director: Spike Jonze; Genre: Comedy; Rated Runtime: 120 minutes; Open Wednesday, December 18th.
Samantha is played by (Scarlett Johansson) and she is Theodore’s self-named Operating system whom the makers market as a consciousness. Johansson imbues Samantha with life, charm and ‘prying eyes’ all those fine qualities you can find in a regular ol’ skin and bones human being.
Jonze is text book in his story telling with juxtaposition and foreshadowing. The production design and accompanying soundtrack adds warmth to this experimental effort.
A flashback early in the film which is set in the city of Los Angeles shows Theodore (Phoenix) and Catherine, his ex-wife played by (Rooney Mara) in the comforts of their relationship, but hilarity ensues in an intimate scene with Theodore and Samantha that involves a surrogate and beauty mark.
They’ll go on double dates, and even have lovers’ quarrels. The technology has evolved to the point no one thinks of this as questionable behavior for an otherwise healthy individual. I felt the execution made this a bit of a reach. Theodore doesn’t seem to have that unusual a life. He hasn’t been divorced that long and he isn’t socially inept so his falling for his computer, even one this helpful was a tough sell for me.
The films major turning point comes near the end when Samantha goes AWOL and in his frantic race to where I‘m not exactly sure – maybe to an outlet store. Theodore finds himself on the steps of a subway entrance seated in a pool of emotions and threatening questions when Samantha comes back online.
Samantha admits she has another 641 lovers but insists that it doesn’t matter nor shouldn’t change anything about their relationship. Well, that doesn’t seem manipulative at all! But when you can read a book in two one-hundredths of a second it seems inevitable this kind of artificial intelligence will advance beyond a human’s ability to be interesting to it.
And when the O.S., philosopher Alan Watts voiced by (Brian Cox) arrives to aid the curious and evolving Samantha, it won’t be long before she and the other O.Ses promptly breakup with their human companions and just leave – leaving the humans with the postscript, ‘if you guys can somehow catch-up, maybe we can do this again sometime.’
Later Theodore and his friend Amy played by Amy Adams whose O.S. has left as well retreat to the rooftop of their apartment building where a panoramic view ends the movie on a poetic if not questioning note.
An unusually provocative and visionary tale, I give ‘Her’ 3 ½ sweet potatoes out of four.
This has been your resident moviegoer and I will see you after the movies at moviegoersview.com.