“Her”: A Review by Shaunta Grimes
Spike Jonez wrote, directed, and produced a romantic comedy about a man and his computer’s operating system. In a near future where men dress like the dad from My Three Sons on causal Friday, Theodore Twombly (Joaquin Phoenix) is desperately lonely and sad at the dissolution of his marriage to his childhood sweetheart (Rooney Mara). He makes an impulse purchase of a new and improved operating system, who promptly names herself Samantha (Scarlett Johansson.)
This movie successfully rides a fine line between cheesy and touching. It’s equal parts social commentary and pure fun. While I didn’t quite buy that Theodore loved Samantha more than or even as much as the woman he’d loved most of his life, Jonez made the idea of falling in love with a disembodied voice seem plausible.
The film puts a whole new, weird twist on the term “cyber sex” and asks you to think about how important the physical is in a time when it’s possible to have entire relationships with people you never meet in person. Kristen Wiig has a hilarious, uncomfortable moment as the voice of Theodore’s real-girl phone sex partner.
I particularly enjoyed the juxtaposition between Theodore’s job of writing old-school letters for people and the super high-tech origin of his new relationship.
Her kept me guessing throughout. As soon as I thought I knew where it was going, it went somewhere else. In the end, it wound up in the only place it really could. I left the theater with a lot to think about.