Her is a Sci-Fi/Romance intertwined in a world of tech operations. Theodore is a successful writer who builds a genuine connection with the voice of an uber-advanced, emotionally intelligent A.I.. He interfaces with an OS (synthetically responsive computer). The voice is by Samantha; like “Siri” – except ‘her’ intelligence becomes humane the more you interact with her, escalating their relationship to love. Theodore is not over his ex-wife; he never will be. Theodore plays 3D video games at night, inside his lavish high-rise penthouse suite. He navigates the game with his hands like the hologram in Steven Spielberg’s Minority Report. Spike Jonze’s Her depicts the social, educational, and artistic medium of gaming in 2020 as the evolutionary equivalent of cinema in the ‘80s & ‘90s; new waves of gaming tech headed toward limitless heights in forthcoming decades.
Ultimately, personal relationships and self-realization, are the essence; as opposed to our intimate connections with tech; social, gaming, apps, laptops, VR. Moreover, the cinematography by Hoyte Van Hoytema (Interstellar) and Production Design by K.K. Barrett (Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close) is directed with a mash-up of 2 major metropolitan cities. Spike Jonze shoots in downtown L.A., without depicting the grime and destitution of skid row, and intermixes shots captured in Shanghai, blended with an assortment of crayon portraits of Los Angeles. Ridley Scott’s futuristic vision in Blade Runner was a neon dystopia with flying vehicles and rain-swept streets. Spike Jonze’s Sci-Fi Angel City reveals an alternate perspective; China has made its influence on America, and the concept of artificial intelligence superseding humanity has become reality.
The most touching element of the film is Theodore’s quest to fill the void of losing his former lover – his dream girl Catherine. This is communicated in the film’s ending, when he transcribes a digital letter to his long-lost love. Speaking not only for himself, but for many of us in the audience, and our own memoirs: “Hi, Catherine. I’m sitting here thinking about all the things I wanted to apologize to you for. All the pain we caused each other. Everything I put on you. Everything I needed you to be or needed you to say, I’m sorry for that. I’ll always love you, because we grew up together; you made me who I am. I just wanted you to know, that there will be a piece of you in me always, and I’m grateful for that. Wherever you are in the world, I’m sending you love. You’re my friend until the end. Love, Theodore.”