HER: Can we find love with an operating system?
OK, so this is a strange idea. In the future, could you find perfect love with a sensitive, intuitive operating system, one with a version of personal consciousness? Could love be better with a machine, built to deal with all human idiosyncrasies? Could the machine offer a relationship superior to real life?
I did yesterday. I couldn’t wait to see how writer, producer, director Spike Jonze would work with this unusual theme. And I wasn’t disappointed, only a little confused.
Joaquin Phoenix plays the main character, Theodore Twombly, a lonely, introverted man who writes personal love letters for people with difficulties expressing their feelings. Theodore is not dealing well with his divorce, so he decides to try something new, a relationship with a friendly, supportive new OS system named Samantha, a service that essentially lives your life for you, so you don’t have to be bothered.
Samantha works a bit like having a therapist in your head full-time. She helps Theodore work through his feelings about love, divorce and our natural need and desire to connect with others.
This film makes one wonder, what is a relationship built on? Do you need an actual, warm, soft, human presence to be in relationship? Or will a machine be built in the future that is more reliably sensitive to our ever- changing human emotions?
This new film offers us so much to think about. That’s what I like about it.