It’s only fitting that I write my review of the most romantic Best Picture 2014 nominated film on Valentine’s Day. Naturally.
Long story short without giving away too much of the plot, a man falls in love with his OS (Operating System) and we follow him in his journey of love and every emotion that comes with falling in love (be it with a person or with a non-living “being”). Theodore, played by Joaquin Phoenix, is a writer for a website that makes letters for just about anyone, attempts to find himself a new path as he deals with a divorce to someone he’s been in love with since childhood. When he sees an advertisement for the new OS system that knows you better than any system ever before, he finds friendship and so much more with Samantha, voiced by Scarlett Johansson.
It doesn’t take long for my mind to be boggled and more than a bit bothered by the technology advances in “Her”. Why, you might ask? Because it’s so easy to imagine our society going in that exact direction. People don’t talk to each other or even look at each other unless it’s on the screen of their handheld device. I mean, Theodore is walking around with an ear piece in his ear and muttering things like ‘Delete’ and ‘Read Later’ and ‘Respond Now’ to himself (or so it appears).
The technology of this film scares me because like I’ve already said, it’s too easy to imagine our society evolving into that.
Anyways, back to the actual movie. Joaquin Phoenix has never been my favorite actor, but I can respect his talent and craft enough not to dislike him. He walks a pretty tepid line in this movie between sensitive and sort-of creepy with his take on Theodore. But I will say this about his performance: there’s sincerity in what he says and does, especially when with his friend Amy (played, ironically, my Amy Adams). The scene where he goes up to a cabin to getaway with “Samantha” is the most honest representation of what Theodore is about.
Amy Adams is another one of those actresses where I like the work she does, but she’s not on the top of my list. However, she does pack a punch as Amy, one of Theodore’s closest friends, and I like for the very reason that she acknowledges befriending an OS, or falling in love with one, is a bit crazy, but all at the same time beautiful.
Here are my Top 10 Favorite Moments of ‘Her’: (SPOILERS MAY LAY AHEAD! READ WITH CAUTION!)
1.) A foul-mouthed little bubble boy inside Theodore’s “video game” (voiced by director Spike Jonze)
Her view on love: “I think anybody who falls in love is a freak. It’s a crazy thing to do. It’s kind of like a form of socially acceptable insanity.”
7.) The and Amy Adams playing a new video game called Super Mom. (Be the first in the carpool lane, bring brownies to school for your kids making all other moms jealous, but don’t feed them too much processed sugar!)
All in all, ‘Her’ is a very beautiful love story. If you’ve ever been in a relationship where you give your entire being, your entire self, the emotions of going through that rough patch will come back full-force after watching this Best Picture 2014 nominee play out before your eyes. The hurricane of falling in love, the yearning to talk to someone who understands you in a way no one else ever could, and then the heartbreak of rejection…it’s a whirlwind none of us can escape.
Could a relationship really work between a living human being and an Operating System? I have a feeling we won’t have to wait too long before technology catches up with this film, and people start finding out firsthand.