“HER”

Temporary long distance relationships are difficult to cope with as is. Imagine only ever being able to learn, grow and experience life with the person you love by the means of computer screens and internet streams.

Set sometime in the not so distant future, “Her” is the intimate story of two unconventional lovers who can talk and interact but can never touch or personally see each other, simply because one of the pair doesn’t have a body; she is his computer.

Theodore is a man who has loved and lost. Though he shows incredible empathy in his workplace, where his profession is to write other people’s letters with touching sincerity, he is incapable of truly opening up to the people in his own life. This disconnect was the cause of the estrangement between himself and his soon-to-be ex-wife, whom he harbors mixed feelings for throughout the story of “Her.”

Early into the movie Theodore comes across an advertisement for a state-of-the-art Operating System ( or OS) equipped with artificial intelligence that allows it to evolve and innovate. When he decides to give the OS a female personality, the computer says with a very human voice that her name is Samantha, a name self-given by the OS who had just completed reading a huge book’s collection of baby names in less than one second. Samantha’s quirky voice and witty personality woo Theodore in and the two quickly click.

Samantha and Theodore’s complicated relationship grows over the course of the movie, in which they both come to realize the things that they have in common, as well as the gaping difference in what they are. The two bond in a way that had never touched Theodore before—an almost insatiable feeling—that leads them to want to understand one another more and more. As with any relationship, points of conflict occasionally surface, and each of them opts to take time away from the other.

Samantha acts as a driving force in Theodore’s growth away from social isolation, and in doing so she teaches him what it means to be human. In turn, Theodore does the disservice of pointing out what makes Samantha a machine, most tellingly her lack of a body, causing a rift in their relationship along with Samantha’s realizaton in her idea of what she is and can be in this “life.”

 

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