Her is one of the must unique scripts to hit the screen in a long, long time. A true labour of love from the formidable Spike Jonze, you can feel the heart and soul in the musical score (Arcade Fire!), vibrant and glow filled cinematography and hauntingly true dialogue (so many profound and tweet-worthy lines).  There are also jarring silences or scenes without dialogue. Scarlett’s presence fills the screen.

The subject matter is so complex, since it explores the growing importance of technology in society and how it can impact real human relationships. It’s also about love, loss, friendship and ever expanding corporate boundaries.

Poster for Her the Movie by Spike Jonze featuring Joaquin Phoenix

Look at those baby blues

I could relate to both Joaquin’s anti-social, fearful character, struggling to come to terms with his looming divorce and Scarlett’s curious and hopeful Samantha, who is excited about life, even though she can’t experience it in 3D like the rest of us.  She is a Siri-like operating system, with the capacity to grow and change over time based on her owner’s personality. Her child-like sense of wonder and awe rubs off on Theodore as he proclaims, “I love the way you look at the world.”

After years of life feeling like a giant game of Dodgeball and where I run for cover, I’ve started to recognize the beauty and symmetry of this planet.

“It’s been a while since I’ve been with someone I feel totally at ease with.”  – Theodore

It’s amazing how free you can let yourself be when you don’t have to face someone eye to eye. The layers melt and you stand exposed. Perhaps that’s why so many people meet and fall in love on vacation; there just isn’t enough time to keep up the bullshit façade you wear in regular life.

Dr. Phil Moment: before you can feel at ease in someone else’s presence, you need to feel at ease in your own.

“You always wanted a wife without the challenge of actually dealing with anything real” – Theodore’s Ex, played by Rooney Mara

The premise is similar to Ruby Sparks, where a struggling writer manifests his ideal partner by bringing her to life through his novel.

Both bruised, creative males experience life with women whose initial focus is pleasing him.  Unfortunately, as in real life, we cannot control our partners, no matter how hard we try. Things are going to go the way they are going to go and we can only control ourselves. Creating rules and conditions that limit someone else’s freedom is a recipe for disaster.  Believe me, I’ve been on both sides.

“I can feel the fear you carry around. I wish I could help you let go of it because I don’t think you’d feel so alone anymore” Samantha to Theodore

Theodore is very tentative with life, although he starts to throw caution to the wind and open his heart. I recently realized that I was afraid of falling Drunk in Love – because then you have something on the line, something to lose. Not unlike my obsession with a massage ending 5 minutes into a 60 minute session. But after a recent experience in the Dominican I realized I want to feel ALL THE FEELINGS.

Better to feel them and lose them than never feel them at all. There is no protection in fear based living; just a cage to contend with. Baby steps.

What fear would you like to conquer this year? 

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