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Terry's Take

Movie Review: HER

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The new movie called HER stars Joaquin Phoenix and just the voice of Scarlett Johansson.
      
If you're looking for something out of the ordinary, this is the film to see.
    
These days many of us spend more time interacting with our smart phones and computers than we do with actual flesh-and-blood people. Writer-director Spike Jonze has projected that obsession into the near future by creating a world where a lonely man falls in love with the female voice of his computer's new advanced operating system.
   
It's a clever concept made into a sweet, funny and touching little movie set some time in the not-too-distant future.

Voice in computer: Hello, I'm here.
Theodore: Hi.
Voice: Hi, I'm Samantha.

Joaquin Phoenix is Theodore, a lonely writer who's suffering through the breakup of his marriage.
 
Samantha: How long before you're ready to date?
Theodore: What do you mean?
Samantha: I saw in your e mails that you've gone through a breakup.
Theodore: You're nosy.

Theodore is wary of the seductive female voice coming from his computer and smart phone, but gradually, he succumbs to her ever increasing ability to understand him.

Samantha: I can feel the fear that you carry around. I wish I could help you let go of it because I don't think you'd feel so alone any more.
Theodore: It's been a long time since I've been with somebody that I felt totally at ease with.

He's embarrassed at falling in love with an operating system, but he admits it to a woman friend played by Amy Adams who asks him what that's like.

Theodore: It's great, actually. I feel really close to her. Like when I talk to her I feel like she's with me.

Of course, there are issues. Not the least of which is Samantha's own self-doubt.
 
Samantha: I had this terrible thought. are these feelings even real or are they just                 programing? That idea really hurts….
Theodore: You feel real to me, Samantha.
Samantha: Thank you Theodore. That means a lot to me.
     
The movie demands a lot of Joaquin Phoenix who is on screen almost constantly often without the physical presence of any other actor. But he pulls it off and so does director Jonze who understands the universal longing for human connection in life and in virtual reality.

Terry Hunter, Hawaii News Now               thunter@hawaiinewsnow.com