Saturday, January 11, 2014

Movie Review: Her

"The past is just a story we tell ourselves." - Samantha

It was only a matter of time before Her came to be. Go to any public place; a bar, coffee shop, park or even the mall, and you will see a multitude of people staring down at their smartphones. Her asks the question of what happens when our smartphones become intelligent beings who can actually listen to us, give advice and yes, fall in love.

Spike Jonze's Her tells the story of Theodore, played masterfully by Joaquin Phoenix, a writer in the midst of a nasty divorce with Rooney Mara, who on a whim decides to switch to a new Operating System with artificial intelligence. This OS, which he names Samantha is played by Scarlett Johansson in one of the best voice acting performances I've ever heard. Theodore and Samantha make up one of the best film couples in cinematic history which is quite the feat since she isn't ever on screen. This relationship is at once outlandish but terribly believable, there's a real weight to their trials and tribulations that are on display here.

Jonze's vision of a near future Los Angeles is a sight to behold. There are no flying cars or jet packs, this is the future as any rational person would see it. From the clothes to the technology to the architecture on display, Jonze creates a world that is both science fiction and probable fact.

This is a film that will make you look back on every failed relationship you've ever been a part of and perhaps even question your current one as well. People do change, we are not constant images. We evolve in our relationships and in life and that's what Jonze shows with brutal accuracy. Her will be dismissed by many as frivolous and hard to understand but I was floored once the credits rolled. This movie turned me into an emotional wreck like few other have in the past.

Her is one of the best films of 2013 and one of the best romances you'll ever witness. A film that makes you question yourself almost as much as you question the film. I have a feeling that we are heading in the direction that Her presents and it will be an interesting and ultimately heartbreaking time to be alive.

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