Set in Los Angeles in the slight future, 'Her' follows Theodore (Joaquin Phoenix), a complex, soulful man who makes his living writing touching, personal letters for other people. Heartbroken after the end of a long relationship, he becomes intrigued with a new, advanced operating system, which promises to be an intuitive and unique entity in its own right. Upon initiating it, he is delighted to meet "Samantha", a bright, female voice (Scarlett Johansson) who is insightful, sensitive and surprisingly funny. As her needs and desires grow, in tandem with his own, their friendship deepens into an eventual love for each other.
Spike Jonze, William Butler, Karen O, K.K. Barrett, Production Design: K.K. Barrett; Set Decoration: Gene Serdena, William Butler and Owen Pallett, "The Moon Song" song; Music by Karen O and Lyric by Karen O and Spike Jonze, Gene Serdena, Owen Pallett
Lots of philosophical questions to ponder
- Her review by AM
(2) of (2) members found this review helpful.
You rated this film: 4
Enjoyed watching this film. Fascinating observing the main character learn through his interactions with his OS lover how to relate openly to a romantic partner, something that he hadn't achieved in his marriage, which leaves the hope that he will be able to take what he has learned into his next relationship. Photography was beautiful, acting believable. As in many movies, the audience is asked to suspend belief, and to inhabit briefly an imaginary future world. Lots of philosophical questions to ponder about where technology is taking us, the nature of reality etc.
Overlong and overtangled movie, which should have been an episode of The Twilight Zone
- Her review by PV
(1) of (1) members found this review helpful.
You rated this film: 3
OK, so this film is not unpleasant, though one wonders if the endless focus on relationships and explicit aural scenes are absolutely necessary.
It is a not bad film but way overlong and feels it. That is because the story is so slight the movies is stuffed with padding and unnecessary subplots. It could have been a great half hour episode of a Twilight Zone style TV series. It is basically a short story which has been padded out to be a novel.
One issue with this: all the characters become extremely irritating after a while, from the main character to the subplots. The disembodied voice of 'Her' is probably the least irritating.
Difficult to get emotion into a relationship with a machine - but it was done better almost 40 years ago in a SciFi film when a computer sings Daisy Daisy of course...
The twist is fun but not surprising enough to pay off the time invested in the previous 2 hours.
So, all in all, very average. No idea why it was nominated for an Oscar. But then Gravity won, and that was worse...
Before the film starts you are subject to 5 long adverts for films which you are unable to skip through. Extremely irritating. If I had known this awful marketing practice was present beforehand I would not have ordered it. If this gets widesespread, it will kill the DVD.
Director Spike Jonze has crafted stories with some of the strangest concepts imaginable and yet his recent tale is one that is maybe a little bit close then some people might imagine. However Jonze crafts this around a very real need for intimacy that is heart warming but at its core a little bit corrupted by the subject matter.
Her follows Theodore (Joaquin Phoenix), a letter writer who writes couples letters to one another. He is desperately alone except for one friend, Amy (Amy Adams). When he buys a new operating system he doesn’t realise that she is an artificial intelligence and when Theodore and Samantha (Scarlett Johansson), his new OS meet they hit it off from the start. However the relationship has some inherent problems along the way.
The lack of connection in Her is astounding as people act naturally but also revel in isolation as if some kind of abject punishment for past events. For Theodore its his marriage to his soon to be ex wife Catherine (Rooney Mara), an opinionated and manipulative force that Theodore created as he sees it. His ideas about relationships and love are twisted.
Phoenix is perfect as Theodore, he gets to the core of this quiet soul and brings him back to life with the help of an equally impressive voice performance by Johansson as the inquisitive and loving Samantha. They honestly make a good couple, a dysfunctional and slightly unconventional one but a couple none the less.
However there lies the inherent flaw in Her, it never really presents anything to fight for because we don’t understand. Sure the idea of falling in love with a consumer item can happen momentarily (I remember the pleasures of a new game on the N64) but this kind of devotion is beyond comprehension for some and it makes what could be a touching relationship slightly cold and distant, undermining Jonze and the beautifully designed and shot film he has created.