It’s been a while now, since I saw a moving and beautiful love story on screen.
Spike Jonze offered me the possibility to re-experiment the joy and tears of a marvelous romance. Her completely overwhelmed and affected me.
Choosing Joaquin Phoenix as the poetic protagonist, heartbroken, having a hard time opening himself to other women, was the best investment Spike Jonze could do. This actor embodies sweetness, fragility and instability, he made those emotions, adjectives, physically visible. After watching Walk The Line, and reading the plot of Her, you can only think of Joaquin Phoenix as Theodore Twombly.
He writes letters for people based on souvenirs they send to him, and lives a bit by procuration. One day, as he was out, he bought an Operation System, which is basically giving your computer a voice and a false consciousness.
And, also choosing Scarlett Johansson‘s voice, as Samantha, the OS 1, was a fine choice. She doesn’t get on your nerves, and she makes you want to see her physically (even if you know the actress), it gets you deeper into the film, and make you share the frustration of both characters.
That is what the movie is about. Set in a near future, where people are wearing 1980’s clothes, everything is computerized, wireless and you don’t need no keyboards anymore. Virtual love is in the chore of this world.
It is raising the issue of dating websites being more and more popular, but also the issue of anti-sociability, because of this growing technology preventing people to have physical interactions. It is futuristic but simultaneously it speaks to us by being already half implemented in our lives. And after directing movies made where people fall in love with robots, E.Ts or monsters, filmmakers deal now with falling in love with a simple voice. We could fall in love with Siri for exemple. And this is why I had to make the link between Apple and Her. Raising issues, but also opening the door of love and its incredible and vast possibilities.
The power of Spike Jonze is his exciting capacity to hypnotize the spectators and allow them to identify themselves to Theodore’s character, to truly get him. We empathize with him, we understand every emotion, feeling, behavior he has. And we fall in love with his story just like he falls in love with Samantha.
What could be seen as marginal, odd, appears to us, as normal, even obvious. Thinking, even for a second, that Samantha could be the one, is a proof of our implication into the movie, and how fast we adapted ourselves to the situation. A situation that contains familiar tones to everyone of us.
The poetic evolution of the movie and of Joaquin Phoenix’s character, is the strength of Her. Theodore is leading us with him in this journey of love, he explores a new thing, a new possibility. The magnificence of the film, is its naturalistic tone, its naive sparkle, and the dialectic side of it, because, Theodore is rediscovering his world, rediscovering and learning about love, just like a child or a teenager would do.
Finding out about a new way of love, is exciting and even though we should be careful with it, he throw ourselves into the unknown and pray for the fall to be soft.
Her is a modern love story, that seems so close to what could happen nowadays. Let yourself be blown away by this romance, and don’t even try to hold your breath.