By Vivien Pong
Her, written and directed by Spike Jonze, is adorable. The main character is named Theodore Twombly (Joaquin Phoenix), which is the best old-man name I have ever heard. Theodore wears bright orange shirts and has a fantastic mustache. Since seeing Phoenix play a very different kind of role in The Master, his character in Her was a very welcome change. The plot reads like this: Theodore is a lonely man divorcing his wife Catherine (Rooney Mara). He works at a sort of futuristic, handwritten greeting card company where he composes adorable and sentimental cards for people who cannot express themselves. Saddened by his impending divorce, Theodore purchases a talking operating system with artificial intelligence that is programmed to learn and evolve like a human.
He decides he wants the OS to have a female identity and a very familiar voice comes from the laptop. It’s the voice of Black Widow, also known as actress Scarlett Johansson. She introduces herself as Samantha, and Theodore is hooked. He is intrigued by her thirst for knowledge and her wish to be a physical being. Samantha and Theodore spend all their time together. They go to the boardwalk and even on a double date, all the stereotypical couple stuff. The latter half of the movie follows Theodore and Samantha as they build their relationship and eventually its inevitable deterioration. Supporting cast members include Amy Adams as Theodore’s close friend (also named Amy), Olivia Wilde as a potential girlfriend, and Chris Pratt as his supportive buddy.
Her is a romantic comedy with a twist. Arcade Fire and Owen Pallett provide a lovely, warm, and floaty soundtrack for the film which captured the futuristic sense of the movie without sounding cold. The color palette of the movie is like an amped-up Wes Anderson movie. Everyone wears soft shades of pastel and technologies possess a retro element, making the movie a sort of pleasantly haziness. I recommend this movie, especially for Valentine’s Day as the ending persuades audiences to be thankful for the relationships they already possess.