A recent study by zerohedge.com noted some great concerns for Japan’s population. 45% of women aged 16-24 have no interest in sex, and men in the same age group find porn and anime stylized porn, called Otaku, enough. In short, who needs a real boyfriend or girlfriend?
As a result, Spike Jonze offers an alter of burning incense to meditate at the feet of the all-mighty, and now computerized without the school girl outfit, Lord Otaku in his fourth film, Her. It all starts simply enough with Theodore Twombly (Joaquin Phoenix) writing letters for other people who can’t express how they feel. Like the purpose of incense in Buddhism, these letters ground the central theme of honesty throughout the film. In the honeymoon phase of all of his relationships, Theodore’s lovely letters make women cry and they feel drawn to him. However, once that phase is over, he has issues carrying out the full responsibilities of a significant other.
For instance, his wife (Rooney Mara) has left him and his preoccupied best friend (Amy Adams) is developing a video game, where players carry out quests to become responsible parents. At one point, when Theodore and his best friend, Amy are playing the game, he feeds the computerized children too much and they go insanely hyper. He prompts his character to pick up the children, throw them in the car, and then he drives them to the park. Rather than commenting on how to parent, they both joke and mock the responsibility. It’s all at once too lighthearted not to enjoy, yet honest enough to meditate over for the rest of the time Theodore’s incense smolders.
Is it really any surprise when his perfect woman turns out to be a new operating system? She (Scarlett Johansson) takes about 2 minutes to set up, and then she begins adapting to him. She categorizes his emails and can read a book in less than one second. The buzz about Johansson’s turn as Samantha is completely justified. She’s manipulative enough to die for and adaptive enough to be beautifully scary. So is the movie. Pundits may attack the subdued ending, but isn’t the purpose of mediation to relax and use introspection to correct one’s way? If you point to the future and roll your eyes at Lord Otaku’s bid to rule Los Angeles, then you’re missing the first film that cuts to the anti-utopic soul of how we all side-step life in 2014.