Reel Quick: Her

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Her (2013)

her-movie-posterStarring: Joaquin Phoenix, Scarlett Johansson’s voice, Amy Adams, Olivia Wilde, Rooney Mara

Synopsis:  Lonely, recently-seperated and introverted guy gets even more awkwardly sociopathic when he literally falls in love with his latest computer’s OS.

What Works: Spike Jonze’s quirky, post-modern screenplay is up there with his other works like Being John Malkovich and Adaptation. Its weird and sweet and funny as well as awkward all at the same time. Phoenix reminds us that he’s a great actor by literally talking to his phone’s OS most of the film. 

What Doesn’t Work: To be perfectly honest, Scarlett Johansson’s sultry, sexy voice. Don’t get me wrong, I love me some ScarJo and her voice acting is great. But that was my issue with it. It was too good—too human. Right off the bat she’s talking in perfect syntax and with emotional expression. She even laughs at a joke within the first moments of being booted up for Phoenix. I’m not saying she should’ve sounded like Stephen Hawking but if anyone out there ever heard Siri on the iPhone and how she sounds female enough yet still computerized, that’s what I’m talking about. Maybe just in the beginning anyway, ScarJo should’ve sounded more like a Siri voice and as she developed, learned and became more self-aware then have her mature from a computer voice to a normal sexy voice. It’s as if ScarJo just read her lines straight and to me, that was kinda weak.
It’s not a distraction enough to deter one from seeing the film though. It was a fun and unconventional romantic comedy. It has its share of awkward scenes though. And I don’t mean conversational.
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Overall: Before this film, Spike Jonze was 2 for 3 in my opinion. I really appreciate and hold both Being John Malkovich and Adaptation in high regard. Yet I couldn’t even finish Where The Wild Things Are. I think I bailed after 25 minutes! But he still has a ton of great potential ahead of him and I enjoy is quirky and off-the-wall style. Her was in the same vein in terms of unconventional but it was more deeply-rooted in a dramatic fashion, more so than his previous films. He attempted and I would say mostly succeeded in telling an entertaining and heart-felt story about a lonely, awkward man going through an odd relationship with his OS. The story goes to more emotional and sadder places that other films may have taken a more cynical or crazier approach to. There’s a happy ending of sorts, maybe even a parable to some looking deeper into the story and that’s a good thing. I would recommend this film for most people and highly recommend it to technophiles and fans of eccentric dramatic-comedies.

Score: 7 Awkward OS-centric Sex Scenes (out of 10)

 

8 thoughts on “Reel Quick: Her

  1. Nice man. Interesting point of view on Samantha, the voice. I think if she started out more robotic and then developed into a more human counterpart, that would have added even greater depth, I never thought of that before.

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  2. Good review Brad. I loved this movie for all of the right reasons, however, if it’s too weird for someone to start with, it may be like that way the whole time through. Shame really, considering Jonze is actually able to make us believe in this romance, as odd as it may be.

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