“Her” is a 2013 movie directed by Spike Jonze starring Joaquin Phoenix, Johansson and Amy Adams. The movie features Theodore (Phoenix) in the midst of a pseudo-depression. He works at a letter writing company and has to construct other people’s love every day. That, coupled with the fact he is in the process of being divorced from his childhood sweetheart Catherine (played by Rooney Mara), doesn’t leave Theodore in a good place.
The film features technology fairly prominently and we see Theodore use various forms of tech a lot in the opening scenes. One night, after he speaks with his neighbor and longtime friend Amy (Amy Adams) about his love life, he buys a new operating system (Johansson). The OS, which later names herself Samantha, really helps to push Theodore to become a better, more engaged with life, type of person. Eventually they start to date.
A lot of the movie is the trials of their relationship.
Scarlett Johansson’s performance in this movie is crazy good. At the time I was all in for Cate Blanchett winning the Oscar for best actress for her role in Blue Jasmine, but had I seen this and had Johansson been able to qualify for the award, I might have thought otherwise. I never thought someone’s voice could be that captivating on screen. It reminded me of The Artist, oddly enough. I think when you are forced to hone in on one aspect of a sense, picking up the complexities are easier. There were things in her voice (and situation) that were so complex it complemented the movie very well.
Phoenix does an amazing job as well. I thought this movie was going to feel a lot creepier than it did. The poster and the general premise seemed to affect that image upon me. But Phoenix play Theodore so sincere that he feels very genuine that nothing feels off about the situation.
The movie definitely makes a statement about our culture. Just from personal experience, so many people tell me that technology is killing our society and this movie, which definitely could have gone down that direction, totally argues against that. Theodore was in a negative place at the start of the movie and having Samantha in his life made him a different person by the end of the movie (which, at least, encompasses six months). She was good for him and helped construct him into a better person. That transformation can be seen in the trailer:
The movie is now available to rent across all platforms and is a definite watch if you are in the mood for a very sweet, sincere love story. I surely recommend it.