2014-02-17 15:01
What it's about:

Set in Los Angeles, slightly in the future, the film follows Theodore Twombly, a complex, soulful man who makes his living writing touching, personal letters for other people. Heartbroken after the end of a long relationship, he becomes intrigued with a new, advanced operating system, which promises to be an intuitive entity in its own right, individual to each user. Upon initiating it, he is delighted to meet “Samantha,” a bright, female voice that is insightful, sensitive and surprisingly funny. As her needs and desires grow, in tandem with his own, their friendship deepens into an eventual love for each other.

An original love story that explores the evolving nature—and the risks—of intimacy in the modern world.

What we thought:

Going in to see Her, the much talked-about romantic movie about love between a computer and a man, I really thought that at its heart it was going to be quite depressing like director Spike Jonze’s previous films (Where the Wild Things Are, Being John Malkovich), but although it is destined for a sad ending from the beginning, I haven’t laughed so much in a movie in a while.

A gamble from the beginning, Her was definitely not what I expected - I was especially thrown by the first awkward internet sexual encounter, which is absent from any of the trailers I’ve seen. Besides the sex and lots of swearing, Jonze still managed to make the characters and story line very endearing and heartfelt.

Not only was the plot well written, but the futuristic backdrop for the movie felt so realistic and plausible that you really thought it was an actual glimpse into the future. Interactions with computers are all based on voice and touch with your computer replying to you commands. With the introduction of an AI operating system, Jonze gives us a non-Terminator look into a future with artificial intelligence, and being a tech geek this was absolutely thrilling.

What wasn’t however was the dress style of the future, one which I hope Jonze is very wrong about.

But none of this would have worked if not for the perfect casting of Joaquin Phoenix and Scarlett Johansson, who managed to elicit chemistry without being in the same room. I have never been a fan of Phoenix, but he outperforms anything he has done before and I believe this is one of his crowning achievements.

And then there was Johansson. Her voice acting skills were on another level compared to those who do voice acting in animations. The main difference being that all she had was her voice – there were no representations of her on the screen.

All she was is a disembodied voice that conveyed emotions through tones and inflections. Her Oscar nomination snub is in actuality quite scandalous in that she took a gamble by taking on the role and not only did she excel, she made critics rethink what real acting skills are.

This movie definitely wins for best love story as it not only explores the ups and downs of love, but what society constitutes as ‘real’ relationships and that physicality is not a requirement to loving. Think of Her as the ultimate long-distance relationship, one that like most ends in heartbreak. If you are looking for something to watch this Valentine's Day, this movie will give your relationship a whole new perspective.

An unlikely romantic comedy that will please even the most unromantic soul.

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