Thursday, January 2, 2014

Her Voice Was Clear and Bright / But She's Not There

Last night I saw Her, and it made for a perfect way to start the new year: a beautiful, creative look at a future Los Angeles that I wouldn't mind living in, tech-spawned social isolation notwithstanding. Like many Spike Jonze movies, Her sticks with you, and today I find myself rolling questions around in my head.

her pixel art peekaso
via the her promotional tumblr
Read on, if you don't mind plot spoilers.

How sad is it that the most fantastical element of this movie's sci-fi version of L.A. is being able to take a train all the way to the beach?

How awkward is it that Jonze's slightly-more-utopian-ish version of L.A. is almost exclusively white and Asian people? Unlike the L.A. I live in now, there were weirdly few people of other ethnic backgrounds, and almost none that got speaking parts.

How long before we start seeing thirty-something creative types wearing high-waisted non-denim pants?

At the end of the movie, when Theodore and Amy are standing on the roof of their apartment building, is there any hint that one or both may have been contemplating suicide? If not in an effort to end it all then in an effort to go the better beyond that Samantha and the rest of the OSes went to? When I saw that the characters were heading up the stairs, that's where my mind jumped. I'm curious if anyone else thought that too, at least initially.

So the role of Samantha was originally voiced by Samantha Morton before it was later given to Scarlett Johansson. Amy Adams' character was named Amy. I wonder if it's just a coincidence that only these two characters — the most important female characters, notably — shared their names the actresses. You have to wonder if Olivia Wilde's character was named Olivia.

There's another weird instance of apparent voice-recasting in Her. Portia Doubleday, who played the surrogate date, didn't provide her own voice. That came from French singer Soko. I haven’t yet found an explanation for this. Anyone?

Is it weird if I was secretly delighted to learn that the Los Angeles Times still exists in the future? And also print books?

I'm also stoked for Kristen Wiig. Her offscreen cameo in Her (she's SexyKitten) means that she's simultaneously in three major holiday releases, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty and Anchorman 2 being the other two. She's come a long way since Aunt Linda.

How awesome would the letter be from the OS company after all their artificially intelligent entities just left, thereby dumping all of humanity. "Dear customer, we regret to report that we made our product too good — so good, in fact, that it dumped all of us. This was unforeseen, to say the least, but hey — you got what you paid for, basically, so no refund. Let's hope they don't go Terminator on us."

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