Israel Valencia’s review published on Letterboxd:
" I can still feel you... and the words of our story... but it's in this endless space between the words that I'm finding myself now. It's a place that's not of the physical world. " - Samantha
If I could write a one word review that's the word I would use as I love this film just as Theodore loves Samantha. Her is such a beautifully shot and sweet tragic tale about love and the loss of connection with people that our society has developed. We no longer realize what is true love but rather we just want affection. That's what Theodore Twombly wants, he desires affection but his flaws keep him from obtaining just that. We not only learn to sympathize and connect with Theodore but we grow to love him and Samantha. Her is the ultimate star crossed lover story as we feel two people who truly love each other but their genuine human interaction creates problems that the heart can only handle.
I am not a huge fan of Spike Jonze as I think Where the Wild Things are and Adaptation were overrated but here I can't help but fall in love with his film as much as Theodore loves Samantha. As we witness one of the most tragic and beautiful romances that could ever be conceived and all without one of the couple never appearing on screen.
Theodore Twombly is a man that has so much passion and heart but he lacks the number one thing required in a relationship: commitment. Theodore constantly wears red to emphasize his passionate readiness to seek love. At first his break up has left him a broken soul that at the minimum only wants human contact. Someone he can feel with.
Cue in Samantha, an A.I. that apparently grows while it grows with it's customer or partner. As each person grows attached to their A.I. one way or another. But it is meant to show how we have grown to become consumed for our need to connect with someone. So far have we been in this darkness that we seek to find the closest resemblance of human connection in our technology. It grows, listens, and responds to us so the only question is do we really believe this love is true?
Joaquin Phoenix plays Theodore Twombly perfectly as he creates a character with vital flaws but with an aura of loneliness. He yearns for the feeling of being loved but isn't ready to be in a committed in a relationship. This at first is polarizing but the more we see him the more we understand that deep in his her he wants someone to love him as much as he loves her. But he creates a sympathetic and tragic character we can honestly love and feel pity for. We continually watch as he yearns for human connection but avoids it creating a feeling we can't explain but completely understand.
Scarlett Johanssen feels Samantha she doesn't phone in some voice just because we don't see her. We feel her emotions through her words and expressions creating a surreal performance. Every time she cries you feel the sadness and every time she feels happiness you feel the smile. Her voice is a comfort for not only Theodore but also for the viewer as deep down you just don't feel the emotions but you feel her. Like when she states "How would you touch me?" it's not in a sensual way but rather a heart touching way that only a human can feel.
Amy Adams delivers a sweet a strong performance, by playing Theodore's kind best friend, but it's very subtle and never attention grabbing. Instead she provides half of what Theodore wants which is too feel loved but not actually be in loved. Chris Pratt is Theodore's boss who helps exemplify the false emotions that human connection and technology have caused. Pratt plays the man as a sweet and kind man much like Theodore but lacks the need for love. Rooney Mara plays Theodore's ex-wife but she can be sweet and realistically wicked at various moments. She tries to help Theodore understand that love requires human connection but doesn't understand his eagerness for love.
Plus Theodore's job working by making love cards for other people. As Theodore constantly creates some of the most romantic and beautiful cards that would convince anyone that it is true love. Olivia Wilde's character also helps us realize that Theodore's one flaw is his unwillingness to commit.
Spike Jonze is a mastermind as he creates the simple story of a man seeking true love into the complex and beautiful story of human connection and the need to be loved. While providing some career defining performances, breath taking cinematography.
Her is like love, you don't know how to explain it but you know deep down in your heart you just feel it.
Grade: A+, 4 stars