A man currently going through a bitter divorce falls in love with his operating system and the film follows their love story unfold. Does that sound exciting? Not really if you are really honest, however, put aside all preconceptions and go and watch this gem of a futuristic love story.
Her is set in a futuristic Los Angeles opening with Theodore Twombly, played masterfully by Joaquin Phoenix, composing love letters for people he has never met to be sent to their loved ones. He works creating love every day but he goes home to an empty house after his wife left him. The joy he gives other in his working life is mirrored by the loneliness that he lives each day when he turns the key in his door. However all that changes when he hears an advert for a operating system that can serve its owner’s every need. He buys it and is greeted by the very seductive voice of Scarlett Johansson as his operating system. His operating system is called Samantha and through her help in organising his emails, the complicity that they share and the moments of laughter he slowly starts to fall in love with her.
Spike Jonze with his 2014 Oscar winning original screenplay poses a series of questions the most profound being: what is love, are there any limits and if so can they be overcome? This film works not solely because Joaquin Phoenix commands your attention every time he is on screen but because the ideas explored in Her are universal: what is important to us is it what someone looks like or rather that they know the real us?
I didn’t expect to feel the rollercoaster of emotions that I had watching this film but I did. It catches you by surprise and the supporting roles of Amy Adams and Mara Rooney are equally as important. The film is not without it’s failings and in my opinion a little too long and the ending abrupt. However, the use of colour, music and chemistry between Scarlett Johansson and Joaquin Phoenix more than make up for them.
Spike Jonze manages to transport us to a world which is slightly different to our own but not so futuristic that it feels alien. In a way as much as it is futuristic it also harks back to a time when people fell in love through handwritten letters and then the telephone so really want is so different about falling in love with an operating system? This film takes a look at love in the future in a funny, intelligent and non melodramatic way.
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