Her (2013) - dir. Spike Jonze
Jonze’s “modern love story” unfolds in two parts - one, as a satirical look at today’s society and our technological addictions; secondly, as a simplistic love story that resonates with all in a way that forces us each, individually, to question the confines of the term “relationship.” The film succeeds on both of these fronts - but the real magic happens when its doing both at once.
Unfortunately for all those involved, the film often made the story take a backseat to the commentary or vice versa. Jonze set out to do something incredible, and - thanks to the amazing performances by the cast - he came really close. The film is almost perfect - costuming, production design, acting, cinematography - but ultimately the quirky tale fell apart due to its conventions and devolved into something anyone could see coming. Still, its a beautiful film, and there’s a terrific chemistry between Theodore (Joaquin Phoenix) and Samantha (Scarlett Johansson).