I believe her

Spike Jonze’s Her, more frequently referred to as that weird computer-dating movie that’s winning a bunch of awards, is immediately made distinct by its premise, forward-thinking and not entirely outside the realm of eventual reality. Following through on its promise, Her presents a fascinating love story between human and human imitation, made all the more powerful with its effortless acting and dreamlike cinematography. Jonze creates a world where dating an Operating System seems to be generally accepted, and implies the possibility that this future isn’t so far off.

Theodore Twombly (Joaquin Phoenix) writes lovely poetic letters for people who can’t express their feelings to others. He is postponing signing his divorce papers with Catharine (Rooney Mara) and has fallen into an introverted depression, preferring to spend his time playing lifelike video games. He buys a self-evolving, artificial intelligence operating system, something that in real life would be a massive technological breakthrough, in the movie marketed like an average Apple device. Theodore’s operating system selects the name Samantha, and immediately begins to develop a personality based on her observations, her discoveries voiced brilliantly by Scarlett Johansson.

Samantha encourages Theodore to reenter the social scene, though he finds himself more attracted to her than any human. Understanding of his emotions is Amy (Amy Adams), his friend also going through a bad breakup. Though Catharine accuses Theodore of not wanting to deal with struggles of a “real” relationship, Samantha’s ever-evolving intelligence complicates their relationship, and how deep the bond between human and machine is brought into question.


The film glides along without a hitch under the guidance of the thoughtful screenplay penned by Jonze. Helping him tackle ideas of future technologies is Phoenix and Johansson, who make their characters’ unconventional pairing seem natural. Johansson’s voice acting is more expressive than most performances where actors have their full bodies to convey meaning. Bridging the line between the efficiency of a machine and the emotion of a human, her liveliness is a perfect balance for Theodore Twombly’s resignation. Phoenix’s sympathetic portrayal of a person momentarily beaten down by the twists and turns of life shows us how, in this future, a relationship with an Operating System is believable, let alone feasible.


Also helping bring to life Jonze’s questions is the picturesque cinematography created by him as a director. The shots of subtly futuristic city skylines, frequently combined with nature shots create a graceful sequence that lasts the entire two-hour run time. The entire movie plays with a quiet sense of reality that reminds us that the technological advances shown in this movie aren’t so far out of human reach, and neither are the consequences that will come with them. What makes the movie special, though, is its deeply set intelligence in human nature, and it creates a scenario in which human’s interactions with technology aren’t just believable, but also believably portrayed. Her is more of a flowing, well-acted prediction than a movie, and one that makes a very strong case in both categories.

4/5 stars



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About Logan Krum Movie Reviews

Hi. I’m Logan Krum, now going into my third year of studying journalism at Temple University. I created this blog to help create a portfolio of my work as an entertainment journalist and screenwriter. Though I usually disagree with the Tomato Meter, I hope you enjoy my thoughts on current pop culture movies. I can be contacted at logan.krum@gmail.com.

3 responses to “Her”

  1. Three Rows Back says :

    Another ringing endorsement. Really looking forward to catching up with this. Nice review.

  2. CMrok93 says :

    Good review Logan. The way in Jonze actually has us believe in this romance is what really makes it unlike anything else out there and for that, the movie definitely deserves high-praise.

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