My friends and I recently watched Her, starring Joaquin Phoenix as Theodore, Amy Adams as his friend Amy, and the voice of Scarlett Johansson as Samantha, Operating System One, a.k.a. OS1.
Her won many prestigious awards, including an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay for the film's writer and director, Spike Jonze.
Her takes place in Los Angeles in the near future.
Alfie Cat: I was able to confirm that although the movie is set in Los Angeles, the actual skyline we see in the movie is Shanghai, China.
Lilly Faye: Thanks, Alfie. I thought I caught sight of Chinese signage on some of the buildings!
The movie's main character, Theodore, is in the midst of a divorce from Catherine, played by Rooney Mara. Theodore's job is writing personal, heartfelt letters for other people. He is especially good at his job.
Theodore has a number of nice friends whom he socializes with, but they don't seem to round out his life, or do much to alleviate his inherent loneliness. He lives by himself, and spends much of his free time playing a computer game and interacting with its holographic avatar, a potty mouthed "Alien Child" voiced by Spike Jonze.
As the movie opens, Theodore has just purchased a brand new Operating System, OS1, self-named Samantha. Samantha is an artificial intelligence capable of absorbing every piece of information on Theodore's hard drive, and tailoring her responses to him based on this information.
Samantha was originally portrayed as a softer, more maternal character by British actress Samantha Morton. However, after Morton completed her work on the movie, Jonze decided Samantha needed to come across as a younger, stronger, sexier entity, and recast Scarlett Johansson in the role.
In the finished film, Samantha is capable of fulfilling Theodore's every emotional and sexual need, at least for a time. Her is rated R for language, nudity, and sexual content.
Dizzie: Sometimes THE MASTER listens to a sexy English female voice on his computer and phone. Should I be worried?
Alfie Cat: Of course not, you dolt. That's Mummy's voice.
Dizzie: But she sounds so professional!
Lilly Faye: Some critics have called Her a comedy. I disagree. I think it's an excellent study of the human condition in the computer and internet age. One thing's for certain, once you've seen this movie you will be thinking about it for days afterward.
Anyone who would like to learn more about Spike Jonze's work process and his vision for the movie will be interested in reading this article, which originally appeared in New York Magazine, but can now be found on Vulture.com:
Lilly Faye's Movie Rating: Two Paws Up!