Her is an intriguing, sensitive and thought provoking – to the point of discomfort – romance film set in the future. Writer/Director Spike Jonze (Being John Malcovich, Adaptation, Were The Wild Thing Are) expertly tilts the viewers perspective to the point that you may seriously consider standing on your head – so as to get the correct angle. In many respects Her is mesmerizing. Jonze picks junctures in Her (often the most mesmerizing) to introduce an aspect of human life that at-a-minimum will make you think and at-a-maximum will force you to shift uncomfortable in your theater chair. These sequences do not last long from a movie run-time perspective, but they will linger in your mind (and possibly in the pit of your stomach) for a while.
Joaquin Phoenix is superb as the melancholy Timothy Twombly. Phoenix (Gladiator, Signs, Walk The Line) presents a Twombly that is sensitive, caring, introverted and protective of his feelings. Twombly is at this point in his life – emotionally lost and deciding if trying to regain his self-esteem is worth the effort. Enter Her (aka Samantha) played by the voice of Scarlett Johansson. Johansson (The Horse Whisperer, Lost In Translation, Girl With The Pearl Earring) is no less effective as Phoenix. Samantha and Twombly hit it off from their first interaction. Their relationship evolves quickly – sometimes in astonishing leaps and bounds. The story covers and reveals how relationships and people grow, grow together and grow apart in both touching and unnerving fashion.
Her has a variety of scenes (many very short) that are played by top-line talent (often uncredited). It was a treat to later learn the voices behind some relatively provocative scenes. Olivia Wilde, Rooney Mara and Amy Adams – additional top-line talent – play important supporting roles.