Florin Stan’s review published on Letterboxd:
Artificiality is a scary thing.
In this day and age we've come to distance ourselves from the real world so much thanks to technology that human interaction has lost some of its importance. Face-to-face dialogue is a rarity, smile, laughter, happiness, sadness, all of it is mimicked through emoticons or what have you. We talk to each other through social networking services or all kinds of gadgets, see each other through tiny cameras. Everything is fake and everything is put through an artificial filter that distorts true emotion. People even find it difficult to express their feelings towards another or can't even be bothered to say something genuine and sincere to someone. In this all-too-close future that is presented in the film, they resort to agencies that do it for them, that write fake emotional letters meant to replicate feelings the clients have towards the letters' receivers. Theodore is one of these writers. He's lonely, vulnerable and lives vicariously through the words he writes for others, people he doesn't know and who don't know him. After numerous failures and disappointments with women Theodore seeks solace in an operating system with artificial intelligence, further distancing himself from those around him and placing himself on a desolate, factitious island. He unexpectedly develops a relationship with the OS (named Samantha) that gradually feels more real as time passes.
Wait, what? But artificiality is a scary thing! How can this be?
Because the essence is still there. Theodore was feeling miserable for quite some time because of his break-up with his wife, whom he refuses to officially divorce, vainly hoping that somehow everything can be the way it was. During this relationship with Samantha, Theodore feels more alive than ever. He is happier, sometimes sadder but he now looks at life differently; suddenly, life is exciting again and the past seems just like a distant memory. And all thanks to an artificial product. In this sense Samantha and Theodore aren't that different. Both essentially create artificial products that they pass on to others to assist them in their lives, in Samantha's case everything she says and expresses (being programmed to do so), in Theodore's case every letter that he wrote, every word that was used to bring happiness, care or love to someone. The reason why artificiality manages to impact us still is because behind it there's something genuine to be found, a story, an emotion, a person with feelings and thoughts. As a big movie fan I can guarantee that film (and art in general), which is an artificial product in itself as it tries to replicate reality, has affected me in ways real life rarely did.
So artificiality is a lovely thing. Artificiality is beautiful.