Film explores what being human means

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Irene Ryan
Contributing Writer

In an oddly familiar, not so distant future, Theodore Twombly (Joaquin Phoenix) clumsily navigates a world where strangers construct love for others.

Theodore, recovering from the break up from his wife Catherine (Rooney Mara), struggles to move on and sign the divorce papers while working at a successful company  The company writes heartfelt letters from customers to their loved ones.

Theodore purchases a new product, OS1, an operating system that learns as it functions. OS1 names itself Samantha (Scarlett Johansson,) and they immediately hit it off.  Samantha helps Theodore deal with his divorce, and Theodore helps Samantha feel human. “Her” points out society’s obsession with technology while telling a touching love story between human and machine.

Spike Jonze, director of “Where the Wild Things Are,” captures beautiful panoramas of the Shanghai skyline and makes Samantha seem as human as Theodore.  Phoenix, known for his roles in “Signs” and “Walk the Line,” plays the awkward, lovelorn man seamlessly, and Johansson uses only her voice to convey the emotions of a fully visible human.

“Her” runs 126 minutes and is rated R.  The film is nominated for five Academy Awards and won the Golden Globe for best screenplay.

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