'Her': A Lively and Intoxicating Love Story From the Near Future
“Her” is a near-future love story about a lonely man named Theodore (Joaquin Phoenix), grieving and depressed after his marriage falls apart, who decides to purchase a popular new operating system that includes an artificially intelligent virtual assistant named “Samantha” (Scarlett Johansson) as his newfound companion.
Designed to evolve over time in relation to its owner, Samantha quickly develops her own strong sense of self as she bonds with Theodore over discussions about life, love and relationships. Samantha urges Theodore to try dating to broaden his personal horizons, to which he finds varying degrees of success, yet ultimately it’s the bond between Theodore and Samantha that develops into something altogether unexpected and surprisingly profound.
Written and directed by Spike Jonze (“Being John Malkovich”, “Adaptation”), “Her” is a rich and heartfelt affair, highlighted by a wonderfully humane performance by Phoenix. The story progresses casually yet with heart and grace, leading to a climax that nicely dodges the inevitable ”it simply will or will not work" presumption of the viewer. “Her” is a graceful step forward for Jonze in his off-beat career, delivering something mature, fully realized and downright intoxicating.
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