Her (2013)

Theodore TwombleySpike Jonze’s solo screenwriting debut centers on the life of Theodore Twombly (Joaquin Phoenix) and his relationship with Samantha (voiced by Scarlett Johansson).  Samantha happens to be a futuristic, operating system (think of Apple’s Siri).  The movie chronicles Theodore’s life after a failed marriage that has dampened and changed his perception and outlook of life. 

Her is a film set in the future.  Yet, at no point in the film did I think this was a distant future.  Interpersonal relationships in our society continue to deteriorate and disintegrate thanks in large part to our dependence on technology.  I am sure you know someone, if not yourself, who is consumed by their cell phone or other device.  It is not too far-fetched to think of a world in which humans become so lonely they yearn for attachment from any source, including their technological companion.

Additionally, the film is not a “feel-good story.”  There are many parts that are terribly melancholy.  In fact, Theodore directs his early android device to play a melancholy song in the beginning of the movie.  Jonze does a good job in showcasing the emotional state of our character while saving the viewer from a miserable after-taste.  There is a state of melancholy that attempts to engulf the audience’s hearts only to be warded off by the shimmering rays of light exemplified in Theodore’s montages of a happier life with his former love, Catherine (Rooney Mara).  The subtle nuances throughout the film only solidify the exemplary product.  Personally I appreciate those “touches” some filmmakers place in films.  It shows me they really care.

Joaquin Phoenix and Amy Adams

There are some parts of this film that are a bit weird and awkward to watch.  After all, Theodore enters into as “normal” a relationship with an operating system as one can get (I’ll let you figure out what I mean by that).  Johansson is incredible in her strictly, audio role.  Phoenix who I think is one of the most underrated actors of our generation is simply superb.

Although not exactly the same, I sort of compare this film to Lars and the Real Girl (2007), starring Ryan Gosling.  Both films share the same weirdness, in that their respective relationships are taboo and out of our norm.  Both films also intersperses humor which aids in the fluidity of the film and the character development of the main characters.

Like Lars and the Real Girl, I enjoyed this film.  I would suggest you watch it in theaters.  It is one of the best films of the year.

MPAA Rating: R (language, sexual content and brief graphic nudity)

Running Time: 125 minutes

My Grade: B

Email: realtalkdebate2012@gmail.com

Twitter: @adrakontaidis & @talkrealdebate

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About adrakontaidis

A conservative who doesn't pander to the GOP.

3 responses to “Her (2013)”

  1. JF Owen says :

    We were going to go watch this today but my wife opted to stay home to watch the Carolina Panthers get whopped in the play-offs.

    I love the premise of the film and truthfully, my bet is that we’re not far away from this scenario happening. Truth be told, if Siri sounded more like Scarlett Johansson (or Kate Beckinsale), I might be tempted. 🙂 I wonder if operating systems like flowers?

    Should have gone to the movie instead of watching the football game. I guess we’ll go next weekend.

    Nice review!

    • realtalkrealdebate says :

      Thanks! I had been anticipating the release of this film for quite some time. As Kate Beckinsale is your crush, Scarlett is mine 🙂 Although she physically is never shown in the movie. 😦 Hope you like it. Next up is to watch August: Osage County, Inside Llewyn Davis, Nebraska, Hercules and Jack Ryan Shadow Recruit.

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