“Her” explores love, technology

When I first heard about this movie, I immediately thought of “Lars and the Real Girl”. A man falls in love with an inanimate object. Sounds logical enough.

I’ve always liked director Craig Gillespie’s 2007 film, though I still stand by my opinion that it was too long.

It was a great story, featured superb acting, with the exception of the doll of course, but I still think the movie would’ve been just as good with about 30 minutes cut out.

Seeing as this film has been promoted throughout various social media outlets for some time now, I had high hopes, along with missing Joaquin Phoenix’s acting something awful.

Luckily I got what I wanted in the first minute.

Set in a “not-so-far-away” future America, Phoenix plays a shy, mousy ex-writer named Theodore Twombly, an employee at BeautifulHandwrittenLetters. com where he reads submitted letters aloud to a computer, which then transcribes them into, well, beautiful handwritten letters.

It’s not very far into the movie when we see why Twombly is so withdrawn.

Through a serious of flashbacks and a fantastic score by Owen Pallett, we find Theodore terribly in love with woman named Catherine, played by the stunning Rooney Mara. They are in the midst of a divorce and Theodore has yet to sign the final papers.

In order to make some sense of his every day life, now without Catherine, Theodore turns to what a lot of men turn to in times of emotional stress: porn and video games.

I must say, I had a few moments during the film where I was solely focused on the extremely immersive video games Theodore plays after work. They were absolutely stunning and I pray we get there some day.

One day after work, Theodore stumbles upon a sales ad for the new OS1 operating system— the first artificially intelligent operating system available. The slogan reads, “It’s not just an operating system, it’s a consciousness.” Theodore buys it on the spot.

After a brief set up period, we meet Samantha, Theodore’s new OS1 operating system. Voiced by Scarlett Johansson, Samantha is the name she chose for herself.

I liked her immediately. She is funny, charming, intelligent and extremely witty. I never thought of her as a computer, not even from the beginning.

Writer Spike Jonze wrote Johansson’s role superbly, not to mention how well her friendly, and slightly seductive voice fit with the part. I sat there thinking, “OK, even I couldn’t help but fall in love with that voice.”

This film, like “Real Girl”, is the dramatic rising action, climax, and falling action into the death of a relationship.

“Real Girl” was good, but it wasn’t very funny. This movie, however, is hilarious, but still keeps momentum throughout.

Phoenix’s phenomenal acting along with Johansson’s suave and intelligent voiceover created a chemistry that I have not seen on screen in years and provided a well-anticipated emotional rollercoaster.

“Her” is now playing at the Rave Motion Pictures theater in Little Rock and is two hours long. The film is produced mainly by Annapurna Pictures and is rated “R” for language, sexual content and brief graphic nudity.

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