The lonely, recently heart-broken Theodore Twombly falls in love with an intelligent operating system with a female voice and a frighteningly developed personality. Reading that premise, two possibilities come to mind: a dark, brooding experimental art-house also ran, directed by a David Lynch wannabe, or an annoyingly soft, Pitchfork soundtracked Indie, with it’s quirkiness painted by numbers. However, director Spike Jonze manages to find a sweet spot between the two, and here his film thrives and becomes one of the best of the year.
The nebbish Theodore is played by Joaquin Phoenix in one of his best performances thus far. His story takes place in the not too distant future, where OS software is so developed it has an eerily human voice and personality of it’s own, designed as a sort of “in-ear, invisible personal assistant”. Theodore’s OS “Samantha” (voiced by Scarlett Johansson) immediately charms Theodore and comforts him as he finishes divorce proceedings with his wife (Rooney Mara). The two soon fall in love in a way that is not only convincing, but compelling. The lively Samantha is the perfect foil for the shy and lonely Theodore, and the film chooses to draw humour from the inherent difficultly of relationships, rather than aiming for cheap laughs at the expense of Theodore’s questionable romance. Continue reading