I just saw Her

Enjoyed that blog title.  Though a movie name like that is asking to be used in this way.

So, I rarely write about movies on this blog.  These kinds of posts are reserved for movies that really move me.

This movie did.  It's hard to even describe it, but at the risk of my digital identity I'll risk it.


Firstly, I can say that I've never seen a movie like this.  It's an entirely different breed.  It makes you question your own humanity and outlook towards love.  Love is such an elusive thing to describe and quantify - many have tried and many have failed.  I haven't honestly read enough literature that deals with love as subject matter, but I see glimpses of various beliefs towards it from the friendships I've cultivated and from very few films (and fewer by the day as the quality of films seem to diminish).

If you don't know what this movie is about, it's a not-so-futuristic world, when artificial intelligence has been released in the form of an operating system (OS), for the public.  It's a big deal, because the AI grows through interacting with their owners and through their own research from the 'cloud' of information that is available and growing everyday.

The AI is so advanced, that it communicates with the owners at an eerily human level, and in the beginning, the main character, Theodore, is hesitant, but curious about the remarkably familiar tone and connotations express by his OS.

Over the course of the story, as the AI grows with Theodore, she eventually begins to wonder what it would be like to be human.  Eventually, she even develops feelings for Theodore, who returns them, as he's already in a vulnerable state from a previous (human) wife.

The discussion and interactions between the two is amazingly real, and you can't help but feel the connection between them.

I went in very skeptical of the idea that humans could ever fall in love with a purely digital voice.  I've been thinking about how convinced I was, and it actually makes a lot of sense.  For someone to be able to grow with you, and be so influenced by you... you would have so much in common!  Dialogue is such an integral part of a relationship, and considering how often Theodore can just 'plug in' anytime, it's no surprise he was able to develop such an attraction to a sole voice.

Theodore begins to have second thoughts eventually when questioned by others about the whole idea, but his friend, Amy (played by Amy Adams), has an interesting conversation with him where she basically says, "our life is short, do what makes you happy", so Theodore continues with his relationship with the AI.  Honestly, it's hard to argue with this comment.  It reminded me of the moment in Inception when they see all of the people hooked up to the 'dream machines' and dream for most of the day.  This notion is questioned by one of the characters, and the man operating the shop responds with: "this has become their reality, who are you to tell them any different?".  Since I saw that moment, I can't stop wondering about that idea.

Our perceptions of this reality, more or less, seem to become our reality.  If Theodore feels genuinely happy in the reality he is interpreting, who are we to questions the methods of his individual perception of ways of achieving that happiness (suffering of others aside).

This movie felt like it held a mirror up to society, and said, "Can you really quantify what brings true happiness?"

Many claim to, but is it universal happiness? Maybe it's happiness for a select personality?  Is it only happiness for an enlightened few?  There is wisdom in being able to decide for yourself what things bring you true happiness.  It's remarkable how we don't, or aren't able to, practice these things more.  Human interaction and chemistry can be an amazing thing when it's just right.  Bliss.  I'm waiting for the Darwinians to bring up points about how important the human face and body are in achieving this blissful state.  However, I believed Theodore's reactions!  The way the relationship develops feels accurate to how I feel it could.

Anyway, I could talk forever about this movie, and this post doesn't scratch the surface.  I'm curious to hear how others feel about it, even the skeptics.  I've made my choice with this one.

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