First of all, I want to list the positives in this movie, because there
are several. The concept of falling in love with an AI is a great one.
The cinematography and use of color in "Her" is really beautiful. The
acting is uniformly good. Particularly Amy Adams, who plays an
understated role as a nerdy girl next door who may have feelings for
Theodore; despite a relatively quiet part, she completely inhabits Amy,
making her feel like an actual person. Joaquin Phoenix does a great job
(as usual) with Theodore, and Scarlett Johanson makes you believe she
really is a computer with a heart. But I wanted to highlight Adams's
performance; especially alongside her much larger role in American
Hustle, she deserves a few big wins this year.
That being said... I have to admit it, I got a little bored watching this movie. If you forget that Samantha is a computer and think of her as a human being, which is easy to do, this movie is basically a series of relationship conversations between Joaquin Phoenix and a camera phone. The pace is surprisingly slow, and since the "girl" has no body, it's difficult to visually show their relationship. You have the requisite "quirky" scenes with Phoenix running through the subway, playing a ukulele, sitting on the beach fully clothed. The rest of the movie is basically talking. Samantha expresses lots of deep ideas about being a computer, but they are never visualized. This can work to great effect -- the scene when Theodore and Samantha "make love" to a totally black screen is the most brilliant one in the movie, even if it goes a little over the top. But you feel like Jonze missed a lot of chances to show us what the characters are saying about love, and life, rather than just have them tell us via voice-over. It broke a golden rule: "show, don't tell". The plot never really moves, and the concept starts to lose steam. There's a totally unnecessary video game subplot that I won't even bother to go into. The movie's observations about love and life were fairly obvious, as well, even veering into sappy. I hate having to write that, because I felt like the movie's heart was in the right place, and it had so much potential. But it just wasn't as interesting as I had hoped.
There is a lot to like about "Her", and despite its flaws, I would still recommend it as one of the better movies of the year. I just think it could have been a lot more than what it is.
Action / Drama / Romance / Sci-Fi
Action / Drama / Romance / Sci-Fi
Theodore is a lonely man in the final stages of his divorce. When he's not working as a letter writer, his down time is spent playing video games and occasionally hanging out with friends. He decides to purchase the new OS1, which is advertised as the world's first artificially intelligent operating system, "It's not just an operating system, it's a consciousness," the ad states. Theodore quickly finds himself drawn in with Samantha, the voice behind his OS1. As they start spending time together they grow closer and closer and eventually find themselves in love. Having fallen in love with his OS, Theodore finds himself dealing with feelings of both great joy and doubt. As an OS, Samantha has powerful intelligence that she uses to help Theodore in ways others hadn't, but how does she help him deal with his inner conflict of being in love with an OS?
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April 26, 2014 at 07:27 PM