Could a human really fall in love with his or her operating system? Well if you watch enough SBS on Friday nights you’d know that humans can fall in love with anything (roller coasters is a particular fave).
So if you conveniently ignore the fact that intelligent computers of the type that you can maintain a properly human conversation with are generations away at least, then as long as your operating system sounds like a flirtatious Scarlett Johansson, Her is not beyond the bounds of credibility (just).
Of course, like all films about people falling in love with inanimate objects (Lars and the Real Girl, 2007, where a man falls in love with a sex doll, being the obvious example), Her is really about the human condition, in particular the alienation created by technology.
People walking around chatting constantly with their computers in the near future of Her isn’t that far removed from our relationship with mobile phones today. The phones may be smart but you’re not doing much for your social skills if you have headphones in whenever you’re in public.
At least our dress sense is better today. In Her, jeans are out and high pants are in, though admittedly that’s probably just a comment about conformity or conservatism.
Her is funny, touching and depressing in equal measure – like all good date films. The special effects are clever and understated and Joaquin Phoenix is forgiven for the beard and the narcissistic performance art nonsense of a few years back (type “Joaquin Phoenix beard” into Google if you don’t know what I’m talking about).