Literally the first thing I thought of when reading the name, Spike Jonze (the director) was, “I know that name sounds familiar.“
Of course, he’s a well-known director from everything to music videos, commercials and movies, but I was thinking of something different. I had read that name recently on a set of credits on IMDB. After some digging, I found him.
Right there on his IMDB page, Spike was an uncredited actor in The Wolf of Wall Street.
What does this have to do with Her? Absolutely nothing, but hey, now you have a nice little tidbit of trivia for your friends.
The movie Her is a story of Theodore Twombly (perfect hipster pseudonym) who, in the midst of a divorce, writes love letters for those who can’t seem to quite find the words. Through his journey, he engages in a relationship with a purchased operating system that is meant to aid him in day-to-day tasks.
The first thing that stood out to me was the immersing color Jonze uses to portray the future. The bold pinks, greens, reds and blues wrap you up immediately and what’s even more noticeable is these bold colors up against the soft beige of simple objects such as desks or wallpaper and not to mention Twombly’s choice in fashion. These are subtle intricacies that keep your eyes occupied during the quiet moments of Her and help as a vehicle that transports you from location to location without being too in your face.
Where it takes a strange turn is when Twombly and “Samantha” (the self-given OS’ name) actually become “intimate” and how the relationship takes off afterwards. Samantha begins to evolve and learn at such a rapid pace that Theodore is often left having to catch up, often times showing that as a soon-to-be-divorced and broken man, he simply cannot change as rapidly as his counterpart expects. It’s during moments like these, that as a viewer you are snapped back to the reality of Twombly’s true situation of a human trying to grow a relationship with something slightly more advanced than binary code. This is not a slight in the least, but a true testament to how well Joaquin Phoenix immerses himself into this character and just how much weight his performance, which for about 80% of the movie is him acting by himself, actually carries onscreen.
The cast is superbly cast with Amy (Amy Adams) as the homely neighbor alongside her intrusive husband, Charles, played by Matt Letscher and Rooney Mara playing the ex-wife, Catherine. Let’s not forget Scarlett Johansson as Samantha who I believe to be wrongly snubbed out of any recognition from the Oscars this year. She did an incredible job portraying a voice that not only interacts with the lead character, but also shows ranges of emotions most of my ex-girlfriends haven’t caught onto still to this day(shameless joke). There is also an appearance from Chris Pratt as Twombly’s co-worker who steals every scene he is in.
The story is great and I dare not spoil the interesting turn in the third act. Her is a good story wrapped in a gorgeous colorful gift bag, but if you’re able to look past its alternative ending, you will recognize and appreciate Joaquin Phoenix’s ability to carry most of the movie completely by himself and how well the supporting cast is able to do just that….support Joaquin’s character.
Her was a good watch, not a great one and I would probably not purchase this movie(I downloaded it…shhhh), however, I would try and view it during matinee times or some other method (wink). This movie left me thinking for a good day or two afterwards if I truly liked or disliked this movie and frankly, I still haven’t completely answered that question. I know I enjoyed the cinematography and appreciated the acting. The story left me wanting a little bit better resolution and closure, but it did not diminish the movie in a way where I was left saying, “this is just stupid” at the end of the credits. Overall, the pros outweighed the cons and I would feel safe recommending this to others for viewing.