“Love is a socially acceptable form of insanity.” There may not be a better quote from this film to describe this film. Director Spike Jonze’s Her is unlike anything you’ve seen before, for better or for worse.
Reading the synopsis of a film is often enough to put off some people. And a story, set in the not too distant future, about a lonely divorcee who falls in love with his super advanced version of Siri is enough to put off many. But if that plot intrigues you, as it did me, then you may have your mind enlightened by a very clever and heartfelt sci-fi drama-comedy.
Juaqin Phoenix (Gladiator, Walk the Line, The Master) leads a star studded cast that manages to bring just enough weight to a movie that has an exceedingly melancholy tone. Phoenix’s Theodore Twombly is your run of the mill endearing nerd, but his emotional ups and downs and his journey into falling for an artificial intelligence unit is what makes the movie worth the watch. Amy Adams (Man of Steel, American Hustle) is sweet and loveable per usual as Theodore’s friend and neighbor, ironically named Amy. Rooney Mara (The Girl with The Dragon Tattoo) and Olivia Wilde (Tron:Legacy, Rush) are striking in their short appearances.
Scarlett Johansson, or at least her voice, is what makes everything go. The exceptional warmth she brings to the role of Theodore’s “operating system” Samantha makes you completely forget that she isn’t real. Her, or its, transition from female Pinocchio to hyper-evolved intelligent being may be inevitable, but because of Johannson’s adorable allure and sex appeal we can’t blame poor old Theodore for going along for the ride. I mean what guy isn’t aroused by Scarlett Johansson’s voice?
There are loads of eerie and awkward scenes in Her. But if you’re watching a film about a guy who is romantically linked to his computer, then you shouldn’t be surprised by this. More importantly, you shouldn’t let it detract you from the message. Who, or what, we choose to love may not be as important as our society tries to make it seem. At the end of the day, how we love and why we love is what should drive us. And if we can find happiness, then nothing else matters.
FINAL GRADE: B+