Movie Review: ‘Her’

 

“Her,” is a film set in a near-future Los Angeles, where a man named Theodore Twombly—played by Joaquin Phoenix—falls in love with “Samantha,” his computer’s operating system, voiced by Scarlett Johansson.

Although the premise of the film may sound odd, it is actually a compelling love story, where both main characters, a man and a machine, let themselves become vulnerable and take the audience on an unusual romantic journey.

Written and directed by Academy Award-nominee Spike Jonze, the film begins with  Twombly narrating a love letter to his computer, and we find that his profession is composing hand- written letters for various clients.

As he leaves work and checks his e-mail on his commute home, he’s notified that there is a new operating system available for download, which is individualized for each user.

He downloads the new operating system and meets “Samantha,” the voice of the operating system. “Samantha” is funny, intuitive and provides companionship to Twombly, who is going through a

Review by Lauren Piek, Staff Writer
Review by Lauren Piek,
Staff Writer

divorce, which he has yet to finalize.

As “Samantha” advances in becoming more life-like, her relationship with Theodore advances as well.

Theodore takes “Samantha” everywhere, with the help of his phone and ear piece, much like many characters seen in the background.

“Samantha” composes music for him, Twombly tells her jokes, and the unlikely companions eventually become intimate. Now, some may find this strange, but Johansson breathes life into “Samantha,” where she is truly a character in the story, and makes it believable that a human being could actually fall in love and be in a relationship with their operating system.

Phoenix reminds us of his emotional depth and acting prowess, sometimes overlooked when we look back at his shenanigans while filming the mockumentary “I’m Still Here,” from 2010. Phoenix convinces us that he is truly in love with this voice, and it’s difficult to imagine that he didn’t even film the scenes with Johansson.

The film is perfectly pieced together, complete with a soundtrack provided by members of Arcade Fire and Karen O. from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs.

The film begins slowly but picks up speed as Theodore and “Samantha” admit their love for one another, and Theodore decides to finally meet up with his estranged wife, Catherine, to sign their divorce papers.

As it often happens with new technology, Theodore finds a glitch with the operating system “Samantha” is a part of. In an effort to not spoil the movie, I won’t give further details.

I thoroughly enjoyed this film. Jonze scripted and directed an original love story and a beautiful film.

The performances by all the actors were fantastic, and they made me laugh, cry and want to applaud at the end of the film. I give “Her” five out of five stars.

5 stars out of 5

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