© The Financial Times Ltd 2014 FT and 'Financial Times' are trademarks of The Financial Times Ltd.
February 13, 2014 6:01 pm
Her is a paper-thin whimsy, set in 2025, from writer-director Spike Jonze. As we know, paper can cut and whimsies can kill. This one slices and dices your patience. Did the one-time director of Being John Malkovich and Adaptation learn nothing from collaboration with the writer of those two films, Charlie Kaufman? Kaufman could take wistful conceits – such as voyaging through John Malkovich’s body and brain – and multi-layer them. Jonze takes his conceit, a bodiless love affair between writer Joaquin Phoenix and his audio-digital work organiser (voice of Scarlett Johansson, heard through the hero’s earpiece), and serves it neat.
No soda, no fizz, not even a cocktail cherry. Perhaps a drop of bitters, as Phoenix realises that love with someone who doesn’t exist is not really – well, you get the point. We need more characters. We need more subplots. (Even just one.) Instead we get a life sentence of staring at Phoenix’s face while the actor, as skilfully as he can, goes through the 12 steps of disenchantment in his one-man LA therapy classes. That’s LA for Los Angeles, or Lovers Anonymous, or Lost Audience, according to choice.
Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2014. You may share using our article tools.
Please don't cut articles from FT.com and redistribute by email or post to the web.