A man falls in love with his operating system.
This is not at all an original premise, the idea of a man falling in love with something not human is all the rage at the moment with recent critical success’s Lars and the Real Girl and Ruby Sparks and the idea of a machine becoming self aware is, of course, as old as time ( 2001: A Space Odyssey, Terminator 2 many many others). Her is similar to the aforementioned as it is a very SERIOUS movie (unlike Weird Science say). They go to great lengths to let you know you should be taking this very SERIOUSLY. THIS IS IMPORTANT!. Not many laughs or moments of light relief just lots and lots of very deep and meaningful dialogue between the, to be fair, excellent Joaquin Phoenix and the voice of Scarlett Johansson (who also does well to make what is essentially just a voice into a full, fleshed out character).
The dialogue is poetically impressive in parts but it isn’t really enough to carry a full movie. The general ‘be wary of where technology is taking society’ message is both unoriginal and too vague to really add anything, so Her ends up being just a character study and the supporting characters don’t have enough screen time or charisma to turn a decent quirky flick into something better.
I was also really excited about the prospect of Arcade Fire providing the soundtrack but it is quite disappointing and forgettable. In terms of the Oscars I certainly would not begrudge Her winning best original screenplay (for which it is nominated) but it shouldn’t come close in anything else.