Film Reviews, Short Review

Her (2013)

2.5/4

Spike Jonze’s films have a coy playfulness about them that occasional descends into insufferable indie-blandness – something that his work directing Charlie Kaufman’s scripts avoids through the sheer strength of Kaufman’s writing – and Her constantly teeters between being too-indie-for-school and being a genuinely brilliant film. With its depiction of a near-future in which the ever-increasing we seem to be becoming ever more emotionally distant (i.e. now), and a fantastic central performance by Joaquin Phoenix, I very nearly loved it. Yet large parts of Her just felt too forced and self-aware to be truly enjoyable; the inevitability of the rise and fall of Phoenix’s relationship with his Scarlett Johansson-voiced computer, as well as a strange brittleness in the writing of that relationship, and insufferably twee details like the fact that Phoenix plays a fucking ukulele badly make Her come across as an occasional mawkish attempt at being stylish.

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