her

New review from The Movie Snob.

her  (B).  This is an interesting movie that sort of revisits issues raised in the 2001 flick A.I.  Suppose we do manage to create true artificial intelligence.  How will we relate to sentient mechanical beings?  Will we be able to love them?  Will they be able to love us back?  Her is set in the near future, in a gleaming but rather sterile version of Los Angeles.  Joaquin Phoenix (Walk the Line) plays Theodore Twombly, a lonely sad sack of a guy who’s about to get divorced from Catherine (Rooney Mara, Side Effects).  After hearing an advertisement he decides to get a copy of OS1, the world’s first intelligent computer operating system, and in two shakes he’s talking to and falling in love with “Samantha” (voice of Scarlett Johansson, We Bought a Zoo).  And why not?  Samantha is smart, lively (if that’s the right word), solicitous, sympathetic, and sounds like Scarlett Johansson.  She seems much easier to deal with than real women, like the nameless blind date (Olivia Wilde, Drinking Buddies) Theodore meets early in the movie.  On the other hand, as one might expect, there are certain downsides to “dating” an entity with no physical body and a godlike IQ.  Director Spike Jonze (Being John Malkovich) gets some laughs from the weird situations that inevitably arise, but he generally plays it as a straight drama.  I enjoyed it.  It didn’t hurt that Amy Adams (American Hustle) co-stars as Theodore’s friend and neighbor Amy.

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