The new movie "Her" - Phone sex in the future

I just cheated and used the "phone sex" bit to get your attention. If I had led with the fact that the new Spike Jonze film "Her" was about a sad young man who falls in love with his computer's artificially intelligent operating system, you might have skipped the rest. Now that I've got you hooked (and we will get to the phone sex) read on.

Joaquin Phoenix looking for love

Joaquin Phoenix looking for love

The story takes place in the near future, perhaps 15-20 years from now. Joaquin Phoenix stars as a lonely, messed up guy named Theodore Twombly who works for a company that writes personalized greeting cards and love letters for other people. He's in the middle of a divorce and can't seem to find the right women to connect with, except for a neighbor played by the wonderfully talented Amy Adams, but their relationship is strictly platonic. In desperation, He answers an ad for the "first artificially-intelligent operating system" and Samantha enters his life.

He was given the choice of a male or female voice and lucky for all of us he took "female" and the wonderful tones of Scarlett Johansson explains how she was developed over a long period of time and taken on the traits of the people who helped her, but she can grow and adapt. He just inserts his ear bug and gets a happy greeting every morning and a warm goodnight.  Samantha takes on all his tasks. She clears out hundreds of e-mails and leaves only the 84 that seem important. He takes her with him, by slipping his mobile device in his shirt pocket with the "eye" facing forward so she can see where they are going. And, yes, they do have sex, which is mildly amusing

If you find all of this hard to take, it is. But Jonze's decision to play it straight and allow his character's minds and thoughts to develope naturally under the circumstances, achieves its purpose. We get sucked in and enjoy every moment.

It's a visually stunning film. The future never looked so good and the use of color with bright orange, mellow yellow and pale pink in the backgrounds leaves an upbeat, positive image.

Now, nothing is perfect in this world. As people mature they change. Machines, like Samantha's OS, gain insights as they meet new challenges. And this story is not afraid to address them. That's why it's so good. It may start you thinking about your relationships.

Time: 126 minutes

Rating "R" for language, sexual content and brief graphic nudity

 

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