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At the movies: Her

February 13, 2014
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I wasn’t all that interested in seeing Her until it was nominated for an Academy Award.   After the nominations were announced, Vance and I decided to see it.  The movie really wasn’t for me – I thought it bordered on silly at times – and figured I was probably just too old for it.  Vance liked it more than I did and agreed to share his thoughts.

Her is the latest film from director Spike Jonze and follows the character of Theodore Twombly (Joaquin Phoenix) as he develops a relationship with his new Operating System, OS1.  OS1 is supposed to be an “artificially intelligent operating system” that was designed to learn and evolve through day to day experiences.  Theodore uses OS1 and its “voice,” Samantha, to cope with his divorce and finds himself growing closer to and falling in love with Samantha.

The film focuses on character development during what could be a possible future.  Parts of Her felt dangerously possible, including OS1 and the deep, loving attachments people could form with their computers.  While not everyone is headed in that direction, I spend enough time connected to the Internet through my computer and phone that I could easily see people in my position ending up like Theodore.  Elements of his character rang true to me, including what I perceived to be a detachment from “normality.”

When my mom and I were talking about the film afterwards, she said that she felt very disconnected from the characters and the potential reality presented.  Our generation gap may be part of the cause, but I feel like my stronger “addiction” to the Internet and my hardware was more of a cause for my emotions.  Also, be prepared for potential awkward moments if you watch Her with your parents/children.

Her definitely won’t be a film for everyone, but if you’re a fan of a slower pace with beautiful visuals, fantastic acting, and are willing to suspend disbelief about this potential future, then you should make the effort to find time for a viewing.

27 Comments leave one →
  1. February 13, 2014 6:59 am

    I just don’t think this is going to be for me. Vance may have hit it when he said there is likely a generation gap here — perhaps you have to grow up with electronics to buy the premise.

  2. February 13, 2014 7:27 am

    Sandy said some people walked out of the theater when she saw it! I guess that must have been the parts Vance called “awkward moments.” LOL

  3. February 13, 2014 8:10 am

    I’m trying to see all of the Best Picture nominees. I haven’t seen Her yet, but I saw American Hustle and it blew me away. Christian Bale, Amy Adams gave astonishing performances.

  4. February 13, 2014 8:38 am

    Love Vance’s warning about awkward moments!!!!

  5. February 13, 2014 9:46 am

    My 28 year old daughter enjoyed it but I already knew I couldn’t (didn’t want ) to buy into the premise. Yes, generational differences.

  6. February 13, 2014 9:53 am

    I’m with you. In fact I have seen all 9 of the Best Picture nominees. The only 2 I really liked were 12 Years a Slave (although it was tough to watch, and Joni wouldn’t go see it) and Philomena. 12 Years is the clear winner. I was also disappointed that Saving Mr. Banks wasn’t up for Best Picture.

  7. February 13, 2014 9:58 am

    DVD…Sunday movie, cos it seems a bit eh

  8. February 13, 2014 10:46 am

    I’ve been on the fence about seeing this one, but I can see how this could be a reality for some people.

  9. February 13, 2014 11:44 am

    The whole idea sounds ridiculous to me so I think I’ll pass.

  10. February 13, 2014 12:07 pm

    I have been thinking this looked ridiculous since I started seeing the trailers on TV. I definitely don’t want to waste my money seeing it at a theatre.

  11. February 13, 2014 12:11 pm

    The visuals pull me in. The trailer is amazing, but I would have a hard time believing the story even though the internet and technology is so much a part of my life.

  12. February 13, 2014 12:54 pm

    Great review by Vance. When I went to see HER, I did notice two movie goers, older people, get up and walk out. I didn’t enjoy this one as much as I’d hoped to. Theodore just annoyed me for some reason.

  13. February 13, 2014 1:15 pm

    I can see how Her would be an awkward choice for a mother and son viewing! I totally agree with Vance’s review and I’m glad you guys took a chance on Her.

  14. February 13, 2014 1:54 pm

    Terrific review! It sounds like an odd and interesting movie. I will probably see this on Netflix eventually.

  15. lab1990 permalink
    February 13, 2014 2:00 pm

    I always thought the previews of Her looked a bit strange. Despite my being in the so-called “technology generation” I don’t think I’d be able to connect to this too much either.

    Lauren from

  16. Patty permalink
    February 13, 2014 2:26 pm

    I think I really do want to see this one…mostly because he is so odd yet skilled!

  17. talesofwhimsy permalink
    February 13, 2014 2:54 pm

    I think it’s definitely generational. I know some men that remind me of him. Lonely. Very techie. And I can see how the voice on the phone becomes real.

    I recently got a smart phone and I found myself with the impulse to thank the computer voice that helped me find what I was looking for. Immediately, this film popped into my mind.

    I’m not sure if this movie is for me but I loved ya’ll’s review. 🙂

  18. bostonbibliophile1 permalink
    February 13, 2014 7:15 pm

    I’m curious but I don’t know. Maybe when it’s on Netflix!

  19. February 13, 2014 11:54 pm

    I too, loved Vance’s comments about the awkward moments. LOL

  20. amberstults permalink
    February 14, 2014 11:30 am

    I wasn’t crazy about it either. I found it very depressing.

  21. February 14, 2014 1:35 pm

    Nice review! I think Vance is right about the generation gap and “addiction” to the internet. I may have to see this one.

  22. February 14, 2014 8:00 pm

    Even though I’m from an ‘older’ generation I do want to see this one. Knowing how addicting the internet can be for some people I think I can buy into the premise of falling in love with an OS… well, maybe. I’m not much of a theater person so this will go on my DVD rental list. Nice review, Vance.

  23. February 16, 2014 8:22 pm

    I love Joaquin but this movie turns me off. I know Jason wantsto see it so one day I may give it a shot. Interestingly, I can see this happening in the future (and now that I’m over 40 I’m part of the older crowd :))

  24. February 17, 2014 12:41 pm

    Since I’m studying Tech Integration and having seen so many documentaries about ‘Digital Natives’ and how to reach today’s tech-savvy kids, I do believe generational differences exist – we learn and process information in different ways. This looks utterly fascinating to me. I will have to wait though, I can’t ever seem to get to the movies when they are in the theatre.

  25. swright9 permalink
    February 17, 2014 5:55 pm

    I’d like to see it but will likely wait till it’s on pay per view. It looks a bit different and quirky and about the heart and for that I’ll see it.

  26. February 17, 2014 9:05 pm

    I have absolutely no desire to see this one no matter how many awards it may get. Lol.

  27. February 26, 2014 4:32 pm

    Part of me is curious about it, but part of me thinks it just sounds silly.

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