There are standout funny moments in Her, a film that examines how humans adapt to technology and the effect it has on our relationships. This theme is very current, yet I was never completely absorbed in what I was watching.
Set in Los Angeles in the near future, a lonely introverted man named Theodore Twombly, falls in love with an A.I. operating system named Samantha.
I felt as if director Spike Jonze kept the audience at arm’s length. In looking to say something grand about how we deal with relationships in modern times, he missed the chance to tell something more intimate.
I was never sure whether to root for or against the relationship between protagonist Theodore and A.I. Samantha, as that decision comes down to whether the film is trying to serve as entertainment value or as a cultural counterpoint. In attempting to serve both fronts, the film may have achieved its message, but it sacrificed some of its heart.
The film works as a lesson in culture and shows good technical filmmaking, but as for entertainment value, there were moments of drag that pulled me out of the film and could have been trimmed.
It’s tough telling a love story with the obvious limitation of non-physical intimacy and it was difficult to determine whether Jonze meant to say that the use of technology as a relational proxy is an enhancement or a barrier. Overall, I was never sold on the central relationship. I have no idea whether I was meant to and I definitely would have preferred to.
I guess for a film centering on a relationship between a man and artificial intelligence, this is as close and intimate as it gets.