By William Wolf

NEW TORK FILM FESTIVAL 2013--HER  Send This Review to a Friend

Is it better to love a computer gal creation than a real woman? In “Her,” shown at the 2013 New York Film Festival, writer-director Spike Jonze explores the subject. And do you know what? Ersatz computer relationships can fall victim to the same kind of fickleness as real life ones. Even a computer can break off an affair.

Joaquin Phoeniz plays Theodore, who lives in Los Angeles and has problems in getting involved and committing himself with women. That’s ironic, since he makes money writing personal letters for other people. On his new computer he starts corresponding with the synthetic creation Samantha, who has a lovely voice (it is that of Scarlett Johansson), and soon Theodore’s life is consumed by his relationship with Samantha, who has a distinct personality all her own.

For a while the situation is a movie novelty, but it doesn’t take long for the idea to begin to grow tiresome. Jonze has to work hard trying to keep it afloat. In fact, the whole notion begins to seem idiotic, although the film does succeed in satirizing the ever-increasing preoccupation with the cyber world.

Real women—to be preferred-- are played by Amy Adams, Rooney Mara and Olivia Wilde. But Johansson does have a seductive voice. A Warner Brothers Pictures release. Posted November 19, 2013.


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