Every so often a movie comes around that is so simple yet profoundly affective it sticks with you for a long time.  That is what Her accomplished.

At its heart, Her is a story of being happy.  While this is shown throughout the movie between the main character Theodore Twombly (Joaquin Phoenix) and Samantha (Scarlett Johansson), Theodore’s recently

Just Theodore and Samantha at the beach, no big deal

Just Theodore and Samantha at the beach, no big deal

purchased operating system, it is Amy (Amy Adams), Theodore’s friend since college, who drives the theme home as the movie progresses.  Nonetheless, the movie focuses on Theodore and Samantha.  Theodore is coming off a big breakup (not a spoiler, it’s in the trailer) and it has been a while since he’s dated, and in fact he really can’t find the desire to date anyone or commit to anything long term.  Instead he spends his time mainly alone, which doesn’t do much in terms of keeping him happy (which has caused some concern for a few of his friends we do not see on screen but try to get him out of the house).  So on his way to work one day he decides to buy the first self-aware operating system.  And so she names herself Samantha and their relation begins.

Now, Samantha obviously has no body and that becomes the best part of the film.  Theodore never knows if he should be in a relationship with her.  Yes, they really enjoy each other and find it difficult to not think of the next time they’ll be together (which isn’t that difficult since the future is Microsoft’s dream gone by for Windows 8 and apparently every device is run by the same OS).  As their relation progresses it doesn’t seem that strange, but that’s because we know them a bit more at this point, what about everyone else in the world of the movie?  Well, we don’t get to know that, but Theodore thinks about it.  He’s happy with Samantha so why not keep it up?  There could be a list of questions at this point, but I’ll spare you, just know the list likely crossed Theodore’s mind a few times.  I found myself feeling sorry for him at times, wanting him to move on and just have fun again.  When he eventually finds a smile again it is fulfilling not only for him but for the audience.

Again, that’s what the movie is about: finding someone who makes you happy and not caring what anyone else thinks.  During the course of the movie there is a part when Amy tells Theodore something along the lines of how life is too short not to be the the people that make you happy.  I love this message.  Yes it is simple and we’ve heard it a thousand times, but it seems like the majority of times we hear it is in an average romantic comedy because someone cheated or they had a fight and they’re told by a friend or some random person how life is too short and so on.  In those movies it rarely feels genuine and instead is just a lame plot device to have an over-the-top ending in which the guy does something crazy to win back the girl.

Amy and Theodore at Amy's place

Amy and Theodore at Amy’s place

Her presents characters grounded in reality, facing real problems and resolutions.  Samantha not having a body explores human emotion in a new and interesting way, raising the question of what it means to be human and what it means to love and care.  Having Amy as a friend feels real.  Not every person you meet is going to be a relationship and their friendship is what seems to keep them going the further along them movie goes.  They make each other happy and isn’t that all that really matters?  Finding someone who gets you without judgement.  Someone to be there to help you and for you to help.  Relationships don’t need to be advertised all over the world or the internet or whatever, they just need to make the people involved happy, whether it be in love or friends.  Theodore discovers this throughout the course of the film, as he tries to let go of the past that can only bring him sorrow, and along the way look at himself and how he can make himself happier.

Note: I found this a surprisingly difficult film to review in fear of giving anything away, but just know, this is an amazing film and it should not be missed.

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