Set in a future where technology has advanced while fashion has regressed (high-waisted trousers abound), Her sees recently divorced Theo (Joaquin Phoenix)gradually fall for Samantha (Scarlett Johansson), an artificially intelligent operating system who is first his secretary, then his confidante, and finally his lover.
Recalling last year’s sharp, unsettling Ruby Sparks, she is pre-programmed as his dream girl, based on a brief answer he gives to a question about about his mother. “Love is a form of socially acceptable insanity,” Theo’s neighbour Amy (Amy Adams) reasons, upon hearing the news.
Dating an OS isn’t unheard of in this future, and Jonze depicts it with compassion. A doomed hook-up between Theo and a blind date (Olivia Wilde) is shot in lurching close-ups and feels more artificial and frightening than any of his warm and intimate exchanges with Samantha.
For all its techno-focus,a very human love story about our need for connection. Strange, witty, honest.