What It’s About: A writer who is still recovering from a recent breakup develops a relationship with his computer operating system.
How I Watched It: Alone in my apartment. Evening.
Thoughts: We have Theodore (Phoenix), who is still recovering from a recent separation–and pending divorce–from the love of his life, Catherine (Mara). He lives a fairly lonely life: works at a place where he writes handwritten love letters for other people, comes home to an empty apartment and plays video games, talks to his hands free bluetooth-like device more than actual people. Then one day, he discovers this new computer operating system that is designed to be individually customize-able. So he gives it a female personality. And that personality is capable of normal computer things…but then it’s also capable of things such as empathy and emotion. The O.S. takes on the name Samantha (Johansson). They become…close.
Okay. First of all, let’s talk about the world that this movie takes place in. Spike Jonze has created this futuristic world that is, in my mind, totally plausible. Like…this world seems like a world that we could be experiencing in a decade. Which is AWESOME, but to be perfectly honest, kiiiiind of creeps me out a bit. It’s like today, only slightly upgraded–nothing so out there, that it takes you away. I dunno. I just found something so eerie about it. Maybe it’s the clingy computer operating system that can think for itself, but I think it’s more than that. Or maybe it’s the video game character that can react to you and things in your surrounding environment. I dunno.
I had no idea what this movie was about going into it. I figured it was gonna be some sad love story, with some sap reflecting on past relationships and where they went wrong. And sure, there’s some of that. But then you bring in this relationship he has with his O.S. Wasn’t expecting that one. A computer software that thinks for itself is pretty fucking terrifying, if you ask me. Just imagine what something like that could do to your life. It could fuck you over REAL BAD. Without spoiling what happens, may I just say that I anticipated a much different turn of events in this movie. But I appreciate the approach taken.
Joaquin Phoenix was really fantastic in this movie. I’ve always had somewhat mixed feelings about him as an actor, but he really made me feel for him in this. The fact that he works as a writer, creating heartfelt letters for other people is so sad, but so interesting. I imagine that there are really people out there that do that, and it boggles my mind. There are so many scenes where he walks a fine “crazy” line, and he does that really well.
It’s different watching a movie with Scarlett Johanssen and not having to view her bodacious bod the entire time (and by different, I mean slightly disappointing). She was great as the voice of Samantha, though. Definitely some pure creeeeeeepy moments from her. As there should be. Because she’s a computer program that can think for herself.
Shoutout to Kristen Wiig for her small role as SexyKitten in the online chat room. I about died from laughter/awkwardness. She’s the best.
My Rating: Huzzah!
I’m still slightly creeped out by the idea of this movie. But it’s good. Spike Jonze created a totally believable world. But yeah. There’s love and stuff too. But you’ll have to watch it to discover all of that mushy stuff for yourself. 😉