Cine-Men: ‘Her’ and the crazy things we do for love

Mitchell Baltosser, A&E Writer

What would you do for love? What if the people around you told you that it wasn’t real? Would you still hold on to it? What if it was for a machine?
“Her” tells the story of Theodore Twombly (Joaquin Phoenix) a professional ghost-writer of emotional letters and his soon-to-be-complicated love life. During the end stages of his divorce, Twombly begins to suffer what all humans experience: loneliness.

This is when he hears about a new revolutionary operating system being sold, a system that learns and develops with use and will eventually gain its own personality. This is where we meet the A.I. Samantha (Scarlett Johansson). And with their interactions, they develop a deep friendship, and eventually, a deep love for each other.

“Her” was met with wide acclaim upon release, earning itself over $48 million at the box-office worldwide out of its budget of $23 million. In addition, it was nominated and won too many awards to list, the major ones being a nomination for Best Picture and winning the award for Best Original Screenplay.

My Take:

There are several concepts both new and old that this movie plays with and I love everyone of them. Can you love someone that isn’t even physically there, and potentially never will be? Can a machine even love? If so, would everyone else feel the same? Not to mention that this film, more than likely,  has the most realistic depictions of love I’ve ever seen on screen. And I don’t mean romance. I mean full, unadulterated love, and I cannot give enough praise to both Phoenix and Johansson for their performances. And Johansson isn’t even shown on screen!

Not to mention, the music was amazing, full sweeping orchestral songs that are beautiful in their own right. Their inclusion makes the tension, and ultimate cinematic beauty, of the scenes they are included in palpable.

However, with all that said, I feel that this movie is a prime example of the idea that even great acts need to stick the landing. And to me, “Her” fails to make the landing with a hard crunch. I will state in a somewhat spoiling fashion, that the ending comes out of nowhere and goes way too deep for what the rest of the movie already established. And in an almost made for metaphor way, everyone that was there to watch it walked away talking about the ending and what they thought it meant, not how beautiful the majorty of the story was. Or how it contained an awe inspiring ideal about love.

No, at least I walked away ultimately confused, disappointed, and with a bad taste in my mouth due to an unneeded sci-fi plot twist when I feel it could have been better than to dive for the same emotional notes “The Notebook” had. I am sad to say that because of that I did not completely love “Her.”  8.5/10.