Wednesday, January 14, 2015


Through Theodore's eyes we see, "Her." 
In this SciFi romance, society continues in the direction that it is already heading during this cyberage – playing with the paradox of how we can be constantly connected through social media yet less intimately connected. We have replaced personal interactions with text messages. Even on a physical level sex has been replaced by safe cybersex. The art of letter writing has been lost with the advent of chat, creating an industry for personal correspondence writers. Writer/Director Spike Jonze explores this theme with his main character, Theodore (Joaquin Phoenix), a professional letter writer who specializes in drafting touching, intimate love letters while being totally shut down by fear in his personal life.

Instead of creating a hollow, unfeeling world of SciFi technology, Jonze creates a world where people still strive for human connection. Using the rules of artificial intelligence as a guide, Jonze makes it seem totally feasible that an operating system could be conversational and interactive. After Theodore downloads his own personal assistant operating system (Scarlett Johansson), she introduces herself: “Hi, I’m here. I’m Samantha.” Theodore is taken aback by the beautiful imperfections in her voice. When she wakes him up the next morning, she surprises him by exhibiting a sense of humor. Programmed to anticipate his every need (while making no demands of him), it’s not difficult to believe that Theodore falls for “her.” "Her," really isn't a her at all, but a projection of himself and what he wants in a woman. When Theodore shares the news of this relationship with his ex-wife, she responds, “You’re dating a computer? You always wanted to have a wife without the challenges of actually dealing with anything real. I'm glad you found someone.”

One of the delightful things about their romance is that the filmmaker can’t rely on physical attractiveness to show us why these characters come together. We watch how they inspire each other to grow. Samantha actually helps Theodore face his fear, enabling him to have a real relationship. Jonze, Phoenix, and Johansson have created a uniquely heartfelt love story in, “Her.”

Movie blessings! 
Jana Segal

Spike Jonze won the Best Original Screenplay Oscar for, "Her," in 2014.

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