Say Hello to My Little Friend
Theodore Twombly (Joaquin Phoenix) was once a happyily married man but now as he is about to sign the divorce papers has become increasingly anti-social, barely talking to anyone. When he sees a new advert for a new artificially intelligent operating system he decides to buy one. Soon Theodore finds his life brightened up by Samantha (Scarlett Johansson) the voice of his operating system who chats with him in an everyday way and always with warmth and fun in her voice. But it leads to confusion for Theodore as he finds himself falling in love with Samantha something others find hard to deal with.
Let me start with what is always my number one question, did "Her" entertain? And there is absolutely no doub about it, this is one entertaining movie as we are taken to the future where instead of staring at a smart phone you plug an ear piece in and you actually talk to your operating system. That alone makes for this entertaining set up and I certainly could imagine a couple of technology giants trying to develop something similar. But there are other technological ideas which embellish the world we know, building on what is already familiar to us and sometimes highlighting their comical nature.
But then "Her" has this romantic development as Theodore falls in love with his operating system and with it been artifical intelligence it learns to show love back. And to be honest in a world where not only do we become increasingly reliant on technology but also more isolated it is a fascinating idea one which made me think back to when if you couldn't have a real dog there was software to have a virtual puppy. Now I am sure there will be those who enjoy the psychological aspects of "her" as this romance between man and operating system develops but for those who want just to be entertained will by the way Theodore develops thanks to this voice in his ear and the feelings of doubt which he has in those moments when he questions his feelings.
As such Joaquin Phoenix delivers one of the most staggeringly brilliant performances you will come across as whilst there are some scenes where he interacts with other characters mostly it is him talking to a voice in his ear. I can't imagine how difficult that must be to act when you have no one physically opposite you to react to but time and again Phoenix delivers it and brings to life the character of Theodore, bringing both happiness and confusion to him. But you have to say that the casting of Scarlett Johansson as the voice of Samantha is a master stroke as she has that sexy, fun, friendly tone to her voice which would make many a man obey her commands.
What this all boils down to is that "Her" is a fascinating look at what isn't such a far fetched idea but also an entertaining one which never grows tired. And it is thanks to the performance of Joaquin Phoenix and the voice work of Scarlett Johansson which makes the movie and will keep you glued from beginning to end.