January 21, 2014

Movie Review: Her

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We've all grown way too attached to our technology. Don't believe me? Try not using your cell phone for 24 hours. Spike Jonze has captured our imaginations once again with Her. A sort of love story/social commentary. The basic premise is that it's set in the near future where there are all of these technological advances including an Operating System (OS) that is developed to emulate human thought/feeling/emotions. People in the future become too reliant on technology that they don't even write their own love letters anymore. Joaquin Phoenix's character, Theodore Twombly, writes them for people. There are still newspapers and printed books in the future, which I'd like to see! No one had an iPad.

It's set in Los Angeles and there are a ton more buildings, lots of smog, a lot of people dressed in blue, and very little human interaction. There's a great scene where there's a crowd coming off the subway and everyone has an OS in their ear/hands. He sits there and watches and has a realization. I also think it's worth noting the fashion choices. Everyone else around Theodore has "muted" color tones: browns, grays, dark blue, etc. While he is always wearing some form of red. He stands out in the crowd even though he is a bit of a loner. One fashion trend I wasn't a fan of was why were all the dudes wearing such high-waisted pants?! lol

There is some awkward sex - oh yes, he went there - that actually had two couples in our theater walk out. Really? Phone sex makes people uncomfortable? They did try to make it more human by using a "surrogate" but I think that was the pivotal point for Theodore because he knew he'd never have those type of moments with Samantha (his OS).

The movie brings up two interesting quandaries: 1) Humans trying to project onto a non-human device a human connection and 2) Can we ever form a bond with computers when they can advance much faster than we will ever be able to? Another movie that does this similarly and I also think quite well is Robot & Frank (also funny and heartfelt). Amy Adams's has a great line in the movie: "Love is like a socially accepted form of insanity." We humans think love is the deepest emotion we can feel for someone. But Samantha sees herself limited by having a body.

There are a lot of laughs, uncomfortable moments, and a sense of this could really happen in a few years. If you're a fan of Spike Jonze, like modern love stories, or agree that we're all too attached to our devices then I highly recommend seeing this movie. I really liked the last moment because it sums up the lesson of the movie: we can't replace human contact/connection with devices. Put them down and start enjoying the company of other human beings.

Would you see this movie?

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