A Fascinating Movie: Her

Loading the new OS
Loading the new OS
His only human date
His only human date

The answer is Her, a futuristic OS that learns as time goes on when interacting with humans and other computer systems.

This is what actor Joaquin Phoenix does as he installs a new intuitive and intelligent OS on his computer system. The first choice is choosing a man's or woman's voice. Once chosen, the OS loads up and chooses a name, in this case, Samantha. So Joaquin gradually falls deeply in love with Samantha's sexy voice, played by Scarlett Johansson. Except for a few scenes with Amy Adams (who falls in love with a different OS) and Rooney Mara, most of the movie is just a monologue drama for Joaquin, who manages to make it interesting.

The OS reminded me of HAL in 2001: Space Odyssey. Evolving as interaction with humans occurs but instead of the OS being nefarious and conniving, Samantha, wants to fall in love like humans, wants to have a body to experience sex and so on. But, as all this does come to pass (including a blacked out sex scene), her intellect and interests grows and the OS begins to want other things.

The film is a tad too long. By the time of the breakup near the end, I was getting bored because the ending can be spotted long before it happens. The storyline could have gone in so many directions that would make it more interesting and exciting. For instance, when Joaquin cannot connect with the OS near the end, he panics. Lots of things could have occurred from that point, but then he manages to connect and Samantha calms him. The impending breakup is almost expected. When the OS begins talking with other OS systems, more intelligent than Her, Joaquin tries not to be jealous.

I knew that somewhere, the OS would be disconnected. When it happened, I was hoping for more sinister reasons rather than just an upgrade and wanted maybe Samantha to become more of an adversary like many couples do. Maybe, taking over his computer, destroying files, in a revengeful manner. Nope. This is a love that ends amicably and they just part and go their separate ways.

One of the more interesting scenes is when Joaquin goes on a date with real woman. They really like one another and the chemistry is there. As the date goes on, you expect them to go to bed, but when she hints at it, Joaquin hedges and sends the wrong signal. Suddenly, the hot date turns nasty and she calls him "creepy". He is. His character is a lonely, once married man, that just goes to work, comes home, and talks to his OS. His imagination runs wild and in the sex scene with the OS, thank god, it turns black. The viewer only hears the sounds of sex. While I expected this, it is creepy because you know what he is actually doing.

Samantha sees the world via the handheld computer's camera that he carries with him in his shirt pocket. She longs for a body, so the OS arranges for another woman to act as a surrogate to meet with him to experience the human interaction and sex. However, he is very uncomfortable with this but goes along. The whole scene is awkward for him even though he hears the OS voice in his ear yet sees a complete stranger. Eventually, he cannot handle the idea and it ends in a disaster. That's when he begins to think that falling in love with an OS is crazy and stupid. The OS is growing more intelligent all the time, needing more, yet because Joaquin is Her first love, there is always a space for him.

The ads for the film make it appear that this is a PG-13 movie, so, I took my 15-yr. old daughter, who also wanted to see it. Well, a parent's worst nightmare happens in two sexually provocative scenes. The first is more explicit with some nudity and the other, is just sexual sounds. The first one was not even needed. The second one, was. Yes, I cringed, being unable to control the situation. Luckily, other than the two scenes, it is a PG movie.

Her is interesting, a definate 3-star movie, but not 4-star. It is a little too long and narrow in where the story goes-it is predictable. There is no real antagonist character in my opinion. Amy Adams role is just a reason to divert attention, she's just a friend. I do not think it is worthy of an Oscar since there are too many others that are superior.

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