- Starring: Joaquin Phoenix (The Master), Scarlett Johansson (Lost in Translation), Amy Adams (American Hustle), Chris Pratt (Moneyball), and more.
- Directed by: [and written by] Spike Jonze (Adaptation.).
- Synopsis: “In the not so distant future, Theodore (Joaquin Phoenix), a lonely writer purchases a newly developed operating system designed to meet the user’s every needs. To Theodore’s surprise, a romantic relationship develops between him and his operating system. This unconventional love story blends science fiction and romance in a sweet tale that explores the nature of love and the ways that technology isolates and connects us all.”
- Rating: R for language, some sexual content and dialogue and brief graphic nudity.
- Must-Watch Trailer:
Her is an honest look at relationships in both Heart-warming and Heart-wrenching ways. Spike Jonze’s original screenplay Her -set in the not too distant future- is a realistically imagined love story full of talent, depth and emotion of varying levels and degrees that calls for enjoyment, contemplation, sympathy, empathy and the losing of one’s self into the world painted by Jonze through beautiful cinematography and equally beautiful characters and words.
Quite possibly the best film of 2013, Her captivates the heart, emotion and soul of the viewer as it draws the attention to Theodore (Phoenix) and his budding romance and interest in an operating system that serves as his electronic artificial intelligence assistant who names herself Samantha (Johansson) and puts Apple’s “Siri” to shame (and possibly even Tony Stark’s JARVIS).
Before getting into the performances that are above noteworthy, it is important to point out that Jonze does a phenomenal job in paying attention to detail and building a plausible future for audiences to temporarily reside in. Full of color, subtle trendy fashion fads (complete with high-waist trousers) and progressed technology, it is easy to accept the idea of “falling in love with a computer” in this futuristic world in which social interaction consists of people communicating via electronic devices and where operating systems control a lot of correspondence and communication (Oh, wait…that sounds like nowadays!). Jonze’s world that he introduces the viewer into almost needs no introduction and comes as a welcome and accepted setting for this love story.
The love between Theodore and Samantha…something so intangible yet still so touching…is new, yet familiar and is made of emotion, care, aptitude, fortitude and openness that many people yearn for in their relationships yet fall short of achieving…to a degree. This is one of the strengths of Jonze’s story in that it is real and leaves viewers wanting more of it to perhaps be a part of it as well. The performances, by all, are unforgettable and equally impressive. Joaquin Phoenix as Theodore is the most relatable character in the story as he experiences heartbreak, loneliness, the honeymoon phase of newfound love, the fear of losing love, jealousy and more. As a love-letter writer (who would put Mr. Deeds to shame), Theodore’s hopeless romanticism keeps him longing, yet lonely and very few movie characters inspire more hope for them from the audience as does his.
Scarlett’s character, Samantha comes alive and it is easy to forget at times that she is anything less than an actual human being. The supporting cast consisting of Amy Adams, Rooney Mara, Chris Pratt and more do exactly that…support. The storyline and the interactions of the people in Theodore’s life do more than just give weight to his story but also an greater faceted look at him and understanding his character to allow for better realistic and accepted connection to him and Samantha. It’s amazing how each of them capture the real emotion and feeling behind their character’s individual stories.
Entitled Her, ultimately, the story is about him. The intimacy between he and those in his life and how even in a world where it seems to be lost, it can be found in some of the most unexpected places. More emotion may be felt watching this movie than in many other films out there today as the relationships forged and fought for are more real than ever anticipated and speaks to the strength of the story, the writing, the acting and the film overall. It is a shame that Scarlett’s performance will receive no award recognition as “voice acting” is not a category in the award season. It’s one of her most human performances ever given capturing the essence of both Samantha’s humanity and conflict.
Her will not be easily forgotten and is a film that goes beneath the superficial to the heart and soul where emotions of love and life live. Surprisingly touching, this story is not one to miss and may go down in history as one of the greater love stories ever told. Forget Romeo and Juliet (and DEF forget Edward and Bella), Theodore and Samantha’s love story is one for the [electronic] ages. Simply brilliant!
(Remember, to read this review of mine and over 250 more, check out THE ARCHIVE of movies I have reviewed anytime. Know before you go…or rent…or buy!)
Thanks for reading! Happy Watching!
–T, The Focused Filmographer
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