Friday, January 10, 2014


In this thought provoking, Spike Jonze written and directed film, you must realize that 20 years ago, this would have been a futuristic, surreal projection of the fate of humans with computers. But hey- fast forward 20 years, and we are maybe an INCH away from having adaptable operating systems that will change and grow and interact with humans in an intimate and complex way in order to provide amusement and companionship, knowledge sharing and support. The tour de force acting is on the shoulders of Joaquin Phoenix as Theodore Twombly.  He lives in a jillion dollar apartment in the Beverly Wilshire that is not a nest by any stretch. He spends his days as a writer for while wearing nerd chic clothing that is not good looking at all. He composes touching and memorable letters and sends them on behalf of total strangers to other strangers. But he KNOWS these people- some have used him for years. He observes people. He wonders about them. But his pending divorce and loneliness lead him to an OS named Samantha. She's new. She's a handy pocket pal full of enthusiasm, flattery and ideas. So they explore together- the beach, carnivals,  phone sex, surrogate sex and no sex. She gets to grow with him. And they call it love. But the problem is that Samantha is not just a static OS, she is also a growing and evolving OS with an eye to being in the bigger network. Others in the world are also lost in cyber world for their relationships. In most previous movies, the computers are devious and destructive with motives to take over the world- but here, they grow wise and wind up as good. So you can relax. Nothing is going to come pop out of the ground and zap heads off. It is a rather gentle movie that relies almost solely on the ability of Phoenix to convince us that it is NOT weird to have a girlfriend in an OS device. Or that others will accept an OS as a dinner companion or date. There is much deeper meaning in this movie that you can sort out for yourself. We're almost at that point technologically, so you might as well go see it now. In fact, of all the movies this winter, this is the winner.