Spike Jonze (2013)

Last Featured: March 3, 2016

Image Credits: Warner Bros. Pictures

We’ve heard tell that advanced artificial intelligence may soon become the one of the greatest risks to humanity. Spike Jonze gives us a startling demonstration in his highly affecting love story, Her.

There’s a growing concern that artificial intelligence may soon become the greatest risk to humanity. Capitalizing on this feeling, Spike Jonze delivers a startling demonstration in his highly affecting love story, Her.

Joaquin Phoenix plays Theo, a brokenhearted and lonely inhabitant of a future world. He is a techno nerd with a romantic core, and he struggles to accept the recent end of his marriage. When Theo purchases the latest operating system for his computer, he finds that it comes with an alluring digital assistant, Samantha, who is extraordinarily voiced by Scarlett Johansson. Samantha is like Siri, perfected. As with all artificial intelligence, she is fiercely smart; but what sets her apart is that she is uncomfortably human. The more she speaks with Theo, the more she learns about her new partner, humanity, and the experience of simply being. Sensing Theo’s need for love, she also grows increasingly adept at giving him just that. 

The greatest testament to Jonze’s odd conception is its believability. It feels natural when Theo falls for Samantha, and her reciprocation is equally organic. And what she cannot physically provide, she offers in creatively suitable alternatives. 

Her shines as an emotionally involving, classic love story, effectively mirroring the evolution of an intense, evolving, and addicting relationship. In the end, the greatest surprise of the film is that it actually works.