The story of “her” has been told a million times in a million ways.
Boy meets girl, boy gets girl, and eventually boy loses girl. It’s your classic, heartbreaking love story formula. In”her,” written and directed by Spike Jonze, this story comes with a bit of a twist.
Set in a slightly futuristic world, in “her” the part of the boy is played by Theodore Twombly (Joaquin Phoenix), a lonely, and slightly depressed letter writer (he writes letters for people…it’s a real thing). The girl is played by Samantha, an operating system (voiced by Scarlett Johansson).
It’s an unconventional love-match, to say the least, and at times feels incredibly uncomfortable. After all, convention says that love is reserved for humans, of the walking breathing variety. So you can’t help but worry for the sanity of poor Theodore.
The film is filled with debate-starting themes. It’s a commentary on so many things (whether intentional or not) that it gets hard to keep track. Off the top of my head, the following come to mind — dependence on technology, loss of human connection in the modern world, what makes us human, redefining love, the fine line between love and insanity. It’s a lot to take in, and at times is overwhelming.
The only thing that keeps the film from being completely overwhelming is Samantha. From her original programmed state, to the very end, we see her learn and grow. Her curiosity has no limits, and without a physical body to weigh her down, there is nothing stopping her from learning, well, everything…and then some.
It’s a strange, but familiar story. It’s sweet, funny, a bit sad at times, and worthy of its Oscar nomination.
…just for fun: