Film Review: HER


Written and Directed by Spike Jonze
Starring: Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams, Scarlett Johansson, Mara Rooney, Chris Pratt

In the near future (and every mention of this movie seems to emphasize that nearness), people have lost their ability to communicate. Theodore Twombley (Phoenix) helps them out by writing letters for them. (In fact, one of Theodore’s clients is a couple who hires him to write letters to their college-aged son). Life is rather low-key, boring and beige. You can’t imagine an invasion by aliens, a war, any sort of disturbance at all. Humankind is reaching a plateau beyond such events.

When Theodore gets a new OS for his smart phone with the voice of Scarlett Johansson, his life quickly changes. She immediately becomes indispensible: sympathetic, charming, willing to have virtual sex. His friends easily accept the idea that an OS could be a life partner.

Phoenix pulls this role off in a way few actors could. He’s essentially playing Leonard from BIG BANG THEORY but without the brains and without the girl. Amy Adams is his friend, Mara Rooney, his ex-wife.

The more I tell you about the movie, the more its subtle charm will be lost. This is a terrific little film that ends in precisely the right way. Highly recommended.

Patti Abbott