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I Saw "Her" Last Night


"Her" has gotten enough attention as "Gravity," "American Hustle," "The Wolf of Wall Street," etc. A lot of people and periodicals will insist this is the best film of 2013. After some inactivity on his part that Spike Jonze may have delivered the film of his career.

Is it?

It's one of the best- it's an unsettling, moving picture that manages to crawl under your skin. Despite its more fantastical properties, "Her" is riveting- and one of those movies that come along every now and then that manage to slip the viewer realistically in through the protagonist's vulnerabilities. 

Joaquin Phoenix gives an amazing performance as Theodore, who is a borderline loser everyman, but more really just a lonely man going through a bitter divorce from his longtime love (acerbically played by "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo," Mara Rooney.) He lives in flashbacks and lives by himself. Every emotion he goes through, the viewer goes through as well. It's all etched on his face.


this girl is going to haunt my dreams.

The movie it set in the near future, when we're even more dependent on technology than we are now. You see people walking about on busy city streets; they appear to be talking to each other. In reality they are all communicating with their technology of choice. 

It's then that Theodore meets Samantha, a highly evolved and capable OS (operating system.) Think of her as Siri with a penchant for real emotion. And Scarlett Johansson, who voices Samantha as a replacement for Samantha Morton, fills her voice with the kind of bubbly warmth and sweetness you'd be crazy not to fall in love with. Scarlett and Joaquin sell this film from the getgo, but it's an ensemble cast and the other actions do excellent jobs as well.

Chris Pratt ("Parks and Rec!") plays the receptionist of the letter-writing company Theodore works for. He's a loveable dope, in true form. And Amy Adams is Theodore's sole friend it seems, Amy, who is going through a nasty breakup herself.

SPOILER ALERT
DO NOT KEEP READING

TURN AROUND
I'M ABOUT TO SPOIL SOMETHING 

I'm glad that Spike Jonze didn't choose the easy Hollywood convention for the ending. Instead, the ending is more open-ended. The whole movie is a sad endeavor, but as I've discussed with several people- there's hope at the end. 

Which is what we need. 

It'd be too easy to go into a long-winded spiel about all the meanings this movie could have and all the lessons it was attempting to teach us. About technology, love, the way people are. To me, though, the most prominent theme was our struggle as humans to connect to each other - and we never connect more than when we are loving - yet one man ends up treating his phone like he would a significant other because it was programmed to understand him better than any other human could.

It's a little dystopian, when thrust in that light.

Rating: 96/100

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