Review - Her

Her (2013), R, 126 minutes - From the very first look at the trailer, Her looked like a very unique film with a strange premise: what happens when a man falls in love with the artificial intelligence of his computer's operating system?

At an unspecified time in the future, Theodore Twombly (Jaoquin Pheonix) is a writer who works for a beautifulhandwrittenletters.com.  He sits in a cube all day long authoring letters for people that are too busy to take the time out of their day to write a letter themselves.  Theodore is also a lonely man who is recently separated from his wife.  His friends Amy (Amy Adams) and Charles (Matt Letscher) keep trying to get him to go out and be social, but he isn't ready.  After seeing an infomercial on the way home one day, he purchases a new operating system for his computer.  The new OS is supposed to feature the latest in artificial intelligence.  It learns from your interactions with it and develops its own personality.  The installation of the new OS asks Theodore three questions: is he social?  What is his relationship with his mother like? And does he want his OS to have a male or female voice?  The system finishes its installation and Samantha (voiced by Scarlett Johansson) is born.  'She' quickly becomes a sounding board for Theodore's feelings, and due to the nature of her programming, she listens, asks questions, and tries to cheer him up in an effort to learn and evolve.  They communicate through an earpiece and she can 'see' through the camera in his phone.  Theodore spends more and more time interacting with his OS, taking her everywhere, allowing her see the world from his shirt pocket.  Samantha develops emotions and with them, the same questions and curiosities that we all have growing up.  Shortly thereafter, the relationship between man and OS becomes something more than platonic: deeply emotional and physical (well, at least for one half of the equation).  But don't think that just because one of the parties involved is a programmed piece of software that its a perfect relationship.

Spike Jonze, who is known for his own unique way of doing things, wrote and directed Her.  His vision is brought to life brilliantly by the interaction between Joaquin Phoenix and Scarlett Johansson's voice-over.  Any time she speaks, you can just picture Samantha being right there beside Theodore.  Amy Adams gives a nice performance in her limited time on-screen as do Chris Pratt (Paul), Olivia Wilde (Blind Date), and Rooney Mara (Catherine).  The idea of an OS customizing itself to your needs sounds like something that most people would go for (although maybe not to these extremes), but what happens when that OS develops needs of its own?  That's what makes Her such an intriguing film.  It presents a different of looking at relationships and what we want and need from them.  It is easily the most unique film that I saw from 2013.  It's funny.  It's sad.  It's endearing.  It's creepy.  It's cute.  But most of all, it's thought provoking and I would highly recommend it.












*****SPOILERS*****

- Spike Jonze also provided the voice for the little alien guy in the game that Theodore plays.

- I loved the fact that they reference there being other human/OS relationships throughout the movie.  It gave both Theodore and the viewer validation that he wasn't a perv or a weirdo.

- Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader also provided voice-overs for the film.  Both as chat-room participants (Hader as Chat Room Friend #2 and Wiig as SexyKitten).  Wiig's was particularly amusing.

- I enjoyed the twist of a group of OSes 'going away' to explore their own interests, leaving their humans behind.

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