Saturday, January 11, 2014
Movie Review: Her
Her has received lots of praise from critics, and because of that, I didn't think I was going to like the movie; my opinion doesn't always line up with the majority's. However, I was truly surprised by the film, in that not only did it have a lot of humorous moments, but it has small commentaries throughout on our society and how we function - and how we might look in ten, twenty years if computers really started behaving like this.
Theodore (Joaquin Phoenix) is in the middle of a divorce, but still wants to be friends with his soon-to-be ex, Catherine (Rooney Mara). Theodore's job is at a letter company website, which writes "beautiful handwritten letters" for those that pay them - the letter appears to be from that person, but it's actually Theodore and his coworkers who write them. He sees an ad for a new Operating System (OS), one that interacts with you, and decides to purchase one; the OS's voice (voiced by Scarlett Johansson) says her name is Samantha, and she and Theodore strike up a friendship, at first. It soon turns to something more, and we then get to see people's opinions of Theodore "dating his OS." His friend Amy (Amy Adams) thinks it's interesting and fine, but Catherine thinks it's bizarre and weird. Theodore and Samantha soon start to have problems, though, and it wakes Theodore up to the problems of dating an OS.
Joaquin Phoenix was great in this movie. He was very convincing, and you will truly believe that he IS falling in love with his OS. Johansson was great as well, as the voice of Samantha; I have heard that Samantha Morton was originally attached to the role, but later dropped out. I also liked Amy Adams as his practical friend, who also has a friendship with her OS (also a female voice), and Matt Letscher (The Carrie Diaries) plays Amy's husband of eight years, who is a little bit of a jerk.
Yes, see this movie. Be aware that it does earn its R-rating, between language and sexual content, so this is maybe not a film to see with kids. It's crazy to think that this could be our society in 10+ years - we already have Apple's Siri, and similar programs, and Samantha would just be the next step up from that. It was also interesting to see the fashions of that time period - which was never said, but Spike Jonze, the director, says it's "sometime in the near future" - the men all wear high-waisted pants, for some reason, although women's fashions seem about the same. I'd recommend Her to almost anyone, as it says volumes about our society and technology, but at its core is a love story, which should interest most viewers.
Her is currently playing in theaters, and has a runtime of 125 minutes. 4.5 stars out of 5.