Her ★★★★

Her almost feels like an even more modern update of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind than what Kaufman/Gondry's film already is. In fact it is all but clear that Jonze was after a similar spark that Kaufman caught in his earlier masterpiece. Both films carry too many heavy similarities for their not to have been some connection or inspiration.

What Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind accomplished by mixing real life romance and heartbreak (some of the most authentically portrayed on film) with science fiction elements that mirror our own desires today is simply a work of a genius. Her tries to replicate this in similar form but with a different science fiction appeal. The result is not as profound perhaps in terms of the love story but Jonze does happen upon a not too unrealistic future that is so heavily technology based that most human connection seems obsolete. In that sense it becomes its own film but that is not where Jonze draws his story to as the tagline suggests this is not an anti-social futuristic horror story, this is a Spike Jonze love story as twisted and heartfelt as one could expect (P.S. watch I'm Here for further examples).

It is indeed a wonderful love story with Joaquin Phoenix seriously stepping up into the top echelon of currently employed actors. Phoenix had the best performance of the decade last year with The Master and while his performance here did not match that greatness it is still undeniably one of the year's best. Like usual with his method acting capabilities, he is nuanced and immersed in the role. He carries a subtle torment that is the driving force for the audience's sympathy (That being a strong fact I will hold to that this film would not be equally as powerful without Phoenix) so when he is happy so we become. I honestly was smiling and laughing throughout the duration and had a great time watching the film. Pure magic and escapism with a unconventional romance that we easily begin to believe in and a futuristic world that both startles and surprises us.

So with that said, I do not mean to dismiss any of the work that Jonze did on this film as it is truly superb but when we come down to it, this is still an update with a new appeal to the already brilliant Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and after the credits rolled on this one what I found myself most craving to do was to rewatch Kaufman's film.

Robert liked this review