R / 2h 6m / Drama, Romance, Sci fi
Academy Award Winner (2014) – Best Original Screenplay, Spike Jonze
Golden Globe Winner (2014) – Best Screenplay / Motion Picture, Spike Jonze
There’s something that feels so good about sharing your life with somebody.
Her came at me and hit me hard. It’s so beautiful and emotional and, even though it’s considered sci -fi, it isn’t too terribly far fetched or over the top.
Joaquin Phoenix has never struck me as an outstanding actor. His role as Theodore is subdued and vulnerable as we watch his story unfold as a divorcee learning how to cradle love and nurture relationships successfully. We never see Scarlett Johansson but are won over with her voice as (the intelligent and sexy) Samantha the OS. Amy Adams makes a strong appearance as the best friend with similar and relatable issues and precious freckles.
Theodore is lonely and in the midst of separating from his wife after succumbing to marital growth in the opposite direction. We are graced with flashbacks of their relationship but it was always at arm’s length; it never truly delved. Which is okay, we are really only here to witness Theodore’s falling in love with his computer.
That’s right. And these days that just isn’t too far off the mark. We see him with an earpiece and a handheld companion device, of which Samantha can speak to him and see the world around him – all of which is heavily reminiscent of modern long distance relationships relying on technology to thrive. The most special thing about Her is that we witness a romantic relationship grow and change without true physical contact – something so so so rare in film.
Her is dreamy – it relies on warm colors and heavy dialogue that pull you into their own little world. You’re allowed to understand the difficulties that come with having a relationship where you spend most of your time by yourself – but also the joys that come with sharing yourself with someone that is such a perfect fit. Samantha does not have a physical presence in this film but she’s so extremely present otherwise, it leaves you breathless.
Samantha struggles with not having a body and not being able to bring physicality to the table in her relationship with Theodore but as she grows, she learns more about herself and her capabilities beyond that (a great metaphor for all women, not just operating systems). She eventually outgrows the situation in an amazing way and basically transcends physical reality. I wish they could have detailed more of where she was going but alas, it’s hard to write / film / portray things you don’t know you don’t know.
Anyway, I appreciate this story on multiple facets. It teaches you how different people add different values to your life, how different relationships teach you different things and how to wrap all of that up and create a good version of yourself to use on the person you spend your life with. It teaches the value of technology and it’s ability to bring people together or keep them together. It teaches the virtue of learning when to let go.
9/10 for you Samantha, where ever the hell you went.