Theodore (Joaquin Phoenix) has been leading a rather solitary life since he separated from his girlfriend Catherine (Rooney Mara), mostly occupied with work – writing personal letters for other people. Then he gets a new AI OS for his phone. And that OS – Samantha (Scarlett Johansson) quickly becomes a huge part of his life to the point where Theodore falls in love with her.
Her is a beautiful movie with great performances though I wasn’t quite as blown away by it as I expected to be. Nevertheless it is rather wonderful.
I thin the thing I like most about Her was Theodore’s relationship with his best friend Amy (Amy Adams). They are open with each other, respectful towards their respective places in life, they have fun with each other and in the end [SPOILER] the movie feels no need to make it a romantic relationship despite the fact that it’s a man and a woman who are close to each other [/SPOILER]. Unfortunately this relationship is not the movie’s focus.
Which is not to say that the relationship the movie does focus on – Theodore’s and Samantha’s – is not interesting. The way they grow together is nicely shown, though I thought that some things were more romantic tropes than real development. But it didn’t disturb the film’s flow, so I didn’t really have a problem with that.
And both Joaquin Phoenix and (even more so) Scarlett Johansson were great in that relationship. Despite only working with her voice, Johansson dominates the film and repeatedly steals the show. Phoenix is smart enough to let her and provides the perfect counterpart.
I was a little disappointed by the ending. It finished Theodore’s character arc nicely, but it just felt weird that Samantha would start [SPOILER] talking to other people as their OS: I mean, wouldn’t they get their own localized OS version? [/SPOILER] But that’s a rather minor point. Generally I had no problem losing myself in Spike Jonze’s extremly spike-jonze-y version of the future and enjoying it.