Her tells a story about a lonely man, Theodore (played by Joaquin Phoenix), who works for a company that writes other people’s love letters. Eventually he starts a relationship with his artificially intelligent operating system, Samantha (voiced by Scarlett Johansson). Spike Jonze directs (and for the first time writes) the brilliant and touching script. The film has won both a Golden Globe and Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay.
Jonze’s previous collaborations with writer Charlie Kaufman (Adaptation, Being John Malkovich) appear to have made an impact on him. Both writers excel in giving their characters ordinary problems, but putting them in extraordinary settings. The viewers are able to identify with the characters, while simultaneously be captivated by the fantastical world around them.
Her also features incredible performances by Phoenix and Johansson, both of whom are faced with the difficult task of acting with someone who isn’t even in the room with him. The real revelation here is Johansson, who is able to portray a character that is never seen, but is able to showcase such real emotion that it is easily believable that Theodore would fall for her.
The complaints are few and far between. However, It would have been fun to see a little more of the world surrounding the characters, as most of the film is confined to either Theodore’s apartment and workplace.
As crazy as its main idea is (or is it THAT crazy?) Her is a brilliant critique on today’s society. For Spike Jonze fans, this is a must see.