WHAT DEFINES A ‘REAL’ RELATIONSHIP? – Spike Jonze “her” (2013) Film review


This movie came to theaters in Germany in March 27 2014.

Spike Jonze won a Golden Globe and the Academy Award 2014 for Best Screenplay. Yes, he is narrating an interesting fresh Sci-Fi story about relationship and love and sex. There is a lonely writer, Joaquin Phoenix, living in a future Los Angeles. He writes emotional letters for his clients, but in the end, he doesn’t really know what to do with himself – after having his divorce with his long-time friend and wife (almost unrecognizable: Rooney Mara).

He buys a new OS for all his devices, which can communicate in all situations: he chooses the OS to be a nice women – and so it starts, that almost the whole movie this OS voice is talking Off-Screen – letting it be Scarlett Johansson herself. So – of course – he falls in love with “her” and they go together, meet friends and all, she sitting in his breast pocket watching through the mobile camera.

In the end, there is actually nothing really to tell. They try having sex through a random girl, but he cannot connect. Even Amy Adams as good friend is not really important there. Spike Jonze had to cut the movie of almost 3 hours down to 126 minutes (still way too long) with Steven Soderbergh helping him doing this in only 24 hours. Maybe it is the fast, casual end, too, that doesn’t give any satisfaction of this storytelling. Everybody gets left alone again. No human connection, no sex. “Her” is just gone with all the other OS’s – hell knows where.

The movie doesn’t lead to feelings, relationship-things nor to any human connection for Joaquin Phoenix. So he turned to a fake relationship and that didn’t work out at all. He does not change at the end, and you actually don’t really care. For “she” is gone (learned love) and “he” is lonely again (learned maybe a bit of relationship). The question though is: What do you need for a “real” relationship? Is it a human body? Or the emotional connection? Unfortunately, this movie was full of missed opportunities and leaves you out alone. Maybe that is what Spike Jonze wants us to feel…


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