Reviews of Movies, TV shows & metro Detroit Restaurants

Short movie & TV show reviews and metro Detroit restaurant reviews

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Movie Review: "Her" (2013)

My 2013 Oscar Best Picture weekend viewing trifecta ended with the movie Her written & directed by Spike Jones and starring Joaquin Phoenix & the voice of Scarlett Johansson. Her is not your typical love story and it was a movie I really enjoyed watching.

The year is 2025 (no Zager & Evans comments, please!) and Theodore Twombly (played by Phoenix) is lonely as a result of his pending divorce from his childhood sweetheart Catherine (played by Rooney Mara). Theodore is a bit of an introvert and thus it is a bit of a challenge for him to meet people outside of his circle of friends. He has a unique job as he writes love letters for people who have difficulty expressing their own feelings. In an effort to overcome his loneliness, Theodore buys a talking "operating system (OS)" with artificial intelligence which is designed to evolve & adapt to its surroundings. In this case, Theodore wants the OS to be a woman and thus we meet Samantha (voiced by Johansson). They start to talk and start to form a very strong bond. Samantha convinces him to go out on a date with Amelia (played by Olivia Wilde) who is a friend of his good friend Amy (played by Amy Adams). The date actually goes very well for Theodore, but when she asks him about continuing to date he hesitates due to the feelings he is feeling for Samantha...and Amelia decides to never see Theodore again. After this, his relationship with Samantha gets more & more intimate (especially after he meets with his ex-wife to discuss their divorce) and it becomes an actual LOVE relationship. Yes, this movie is a love story and has the ups & downs of any love story.

Her is a very entertaining yet quirky movie due to its subject of a man falling in love with an OS. How is this possible with the physical expression of love? This movie does a wonderful job of portraying how possible this really is. This is a bit of an odd love story of course, but it works. It is a sweet, witty, funny, sometimes sad, tender movie that portrays the emotions of love very well. Jonze does great job of directing this movie and makes it very real even though one of the main characters is not real. In the technology-driven society we currently live in, it's not too far-fetched to believe such a story. Jonze's directing & well-written dialogue and the actors' performances make it believable. Phoenix turns in a performance that rivals what he did when playing Johnny Cash in Walk the Line as he plays Theodore with the right amount of quirkiness, loneliness, charm & humor. He is wonderful and probably should have received a Best Actor nomination as he truly carries this film. And Scarlett Johansson may not appear on the screen physically, but her presence is so vivid & almost makes Samantha real. She plays a big part in making it possible for Theodore to fall in love with Samantha.

I really enjoyed Her...8.0/10 stars

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