From the mind of Spike Jonez, Her is the newest spin on the classic love story. The film focuses on Theodore Twombly, an introverted writer who is in the process of getting divorced. When he isn't writing personal letters from people to their loved ones, he spends most of his time stuck in a virtual world: checking his email, playing video games, and getting news reports from the automated voice on his phone. When he sees a commercial for an interactive OS and meets Samantha, his whole world gets turned upside down. Her is a beautifully done story about finding hope, finding love, and ultimately finding yourself.
Visually, the film is stunning. While Theodore lives inside his own gloomy thoughts, his office, his phone, and his clothes are filled with bright, happy colors. The direction is also part of why the movie looks so good. Throughout the film, you see silent glances of Theodore's memories.There is nothing to hear, but from what you are able to see you instantly feel so much.
Her is also incredibly well-written. While the idea of someone making a connection with artificial intelligence is not a new concept, something about the relationship between this man and his computer is refreshing. Of course, Samantha's voice and her reactions are so lifelike that you oftentimes forget she is a computer at all. In fact, that may be the only real problem with this movie. When you stop to think about it, this man is in love with a computer. She is a highly-evolved computer, but still the idea that this is acceptable to Theo and people in his life should at least make viewers a little uneasy.
While the script is great, this movie would not be as wonderful without the brilliant performance from Joaquin Pheonix. Twombly is, as one of his dates describes him, a "creepy dude", yet there is something so charming and lovable about him. Perhaps it is just because some part of him will relate to everyone in the audience. Whether or not you keep to yourself, or are obsessed with technology, or simply are lost in love, you can easily connect to this man and feel exactly what he feels. Scarlett Johansson does a great job voicing Samantha as well. A few months ago, EW released an article that said originally Samantha Morton played the role and they ended up changing her voice. One of the first reasons that came to mind was that Johansson is famous and would draw more people in. Yet when you watch the movie, you can not imagine the voice sounding like anything else. She is smart and funny and you kind of fall in love with her too.
The plot of Her is quirky, weird, and maybe a tad on the uncomforting side, but it is still an outstanding movie. The script is fantastic, the acting is exceptional, and the movie draws you in to the point where you never want to let go.