Get out your popcorn and prepare for some awkward hand holding…
…it’s time for another Two and a Half Glass Review – where I drink two and a half glasses of red wine and proceed to review something I’ve recently watched. Because we’re all a little more honest with two and a half glasses in us.
TWO AND A HALF GLASS REVIEW: HER
Did you love Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind?
You will like Her approx 20% less than you did that film.
I was super excited to see Her. I’d been looking forward to it for months. Spike Jonze is one of my top five directors, I typically enjoy everything that Joaquin Phoenix and Amy Adams are in, and this story, as you can probably figure out, is my kind of schtick. So I had very high hopes. High hopes indeed…
Her is set in the future. In L.A. It doesn’t really say when in the future it’s set. I’m guessing 10 years or so. We’re not talking about a Han Solo, Flying cars and jetpack kind of future here. I’m talking a hazy light, apartment towers so expansive that they are little cities in themselves, high waisted pants and improved smart phones (hopefully they sort out the battery life issue by then).
Joaquin Phoenix (or Wokky as I shall here forth refer to him) is sad and single. He really loved the Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, but they are now getting divorced, and he’s all bummed out about it. I’m sorry, but she seemed like a bit of a mean bitch to me. Wokky needs to take a few steps back, go on holiday and get a bit of fucking perspective as to how she was kinda horrible to him and he probably wasn’t actually that happy anyway. Just because someone is hot, doesn’t mean they’re a good person, Wokky.
In the future we still have smart phones, but they are super super smart phones and we all walk about with little ear pieces inserted all day. Which is probably kinda right. I dunno. I’m not in the future yet. And the phones all have Siri type operating systems.
One day the phone guys are all “Hey vapid and silly humans! We made a new operating system that can read your mind and befriend you!!” Personally I would be a little iffy and creeped out by this…but maybe we all get desensitized to this stuff in the future.
So lonely sad Wookie, like the rest of the miserable population, upgrades his software to the new operating system and answers a few intrusive questions about his childhood and porn tastes and stuff (I’m pretty sure it asked him about porn…maybe I just imagined that?) and then it assigned him a new Siri.
Look at this great graphic I found that represents the OS and the film (you know I’ve already pinned that shit).
Wokky gets a Siri with a very sexy husky voice called Samantha. Who is, of course, Scar-Jo. She’s very smart , sexy, flirty, intuitive and yeah….I won’t tell you more but I would bet $50 that you can figure out most of the story. Wooky was lucky he got Scar-Jo as his voice. Imagine if he got Janice from Friends. Or Ron fucking Weasley.
So really the story all boils down to questioning relationships and our perception of love and happiness. The idea of whether you would trade reality for pain free perfection – even if it meant it wasn’t real love. How actual people aren’t perfect and have flaws, but make better mates than uh…a computer. And about fear and leaving yourself open and vulnerable to pain and hurt – but ultimately the hurt being worth it, because that’s life and that’s what makes us human. Blah blah blah. It’s getting a bit deep now…and I should not get into these subjects alone whilst on the Pinot.
This whole subject and theme is why it’s so much like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. The way it makes you question love and past, present and future relationships in such a bittersweet, philosophical way. It’s also like Eternal Sunshine as it raised the question of the Manic Pixie Dream Girl. After I watched this I asked Twitter if they thought Samantha was a Manic Pixie Dream Girl, and I got told no. But I disagree, I think she is. Whilst she has her own interests and identity, and is certainly more intelligent than any human, she still solely exists to pander to and benefit this Peter-Pan, lost soul, of a man-boy.
I love Wokky, but he’s still a weepy, sad, romantic man-boy who writes soppy letters for a living and wears hipster clothes and has unrealistic expectations of love. This is SUCH a Manic Pixie relationship. Wokky could have been replaced with any of the men from these films; Zack Braff, Jim Carrey, Joseph Gordon Levitt. They are all the same character. They can all be interchanged between films. It’s not a criticism. I have a great deal of love for all of these films and the Manic Pixie genre.
I loved how Her looked. The slightly strange light. The colour palettes of the characters and the whole file; red, oranges and browns. And I liked how, as I said before, it was recognisably the future without detracting from the story or making it un-relatable. The fashion was pretty hipster chic – tweed, corduroy, facial hair and thick rimmed glasses (i.e. I thought the characters were all very hot, especially Wokky).
I need to mention the soundtrack as I was really excited that one of my favourite bands, Arcade Fire, were credited on the soundtrack but I heard very little of them except for an instrumental version of Super-symmetry from Reflektor. I was hoping for some more, but I’m not complaining. It’s a good soundtrack, even though half of what’s on this playlist I don’t remember from the film whatsoever:
In conclusion I really enjoyed Her, even if it didn’t quite meet my super high expectations. That’s more my fault than the film itself. However, between the two, I would always choose Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind over Her because it’s a more fulfilling film, a complete package. Her left me feeling a little empty afterwards, like something was lacking. Not in a story sense, but perhaps emotionally. Eternal Sunshine really kicks me in the guts every time I see it. It makes me happy yet incredibly sad. It always ALWAYS makes me cry. Her didn’t.
Having said that they are definitely companion films, which is great as Spike Jonze and Michael Gondry are certainly companion directors. One day I’d like to go to a double feature of these at a cinema. That would be very nice indeed.
Thanks Wokky – it was nice hanging out with you. If you wanna go get a gin sometime, holla…
SHOULD YOU WATCH THIS?
Yes. If you like slow paced, non action films about men falling in love with their phones. Or if you loved Eternal Sunshine….
TWO AND A HALF GLASS RATING:
Four glasses of Pinot Noir.
2014 FILMS RANKING
1.Inside Llewyn Davis
4.Dallas Buyers Club
5.August: Osage County
7.Twelve Years a Slave
8.Wolf of Wall Street
9. American Hustle
Laters baby xo