Joaquin Phoenix, Scarlett Johansson, Amy Adams and Rooney Mara in a film by Spike Jonze.
Theodore Twombly, a writer who’s gone into the business of writing personal love letters for people who are just too busy to do it themselves, falls in love with his OS1, a new piece of computer software that is intelligently designed to learn and react on its own.
Phoenix brings a sense of charisma yet aching sadness to his character Twombly, a lost, heartsick man getting over losing the love of his life. What seems like a movie designed to be a cynical approach to technology’s takeover of our lives and its ruining of our social skills is instead a film about love coming in any form– no matter how weird, uncomfortable or awkward it feels. At its core, “Her” is a film about moving on from dead relationships.
Jonze’s vision is beautiful to look at–from the use of colors and costumes to the set pieces in L.A. and Hong Kong.
Scarlet Johansson’s voicework as Samantha the operating system is note-for-note perfect: you can hear the wonder and sense of discovery in everything she does and you fall for her in a way that’s similar to how Twombly does as well. The film is funny, charming and almost, not necessarily intentionally, a perfect parody of twee-ness in films about lonely males in need of saving.
“Her” is probably my choice for film of the year. It’s a movie that’s sad yet inspiring; Jonze has always been great at staying out of the character’s of his film’s way and showing them in an empathetic light. You feel for these characters, you root for them and, even when the messiness of life gets in the way, you want them to succeed and find their own private island of happiness. A movie about a machine has no business having this much heart.
Her is now open in select theaters nationwide.