Just got back from seeing the film that has struck me as most profound movie I've seen in a long time. We'd seen the trailer for 'Her' when watching Philomena - or it might have been Gravity - both of which were good and enjoyable films - but I didn't leave either of them as stimulated, thoughtful and questioning as Spike Jonze's new release has left me.
The movie poses questions such as 'what is love?'; 'what does it mean to be a person?', and suggests that sentience,consciousness and love are emergent properties that an AI might develop. Not a new idea: I think many have fallen in love with Orson Scott Card's 'Jane' who lives in the ansible, and other authors have played with the concept too. But this movie, with its near-future setting, brings the issue right into the now.
There are some humorous, and also touching, scenes exploring digital sexuality. A psychotherapist author I admire (Petruska Clarkson) wrote that the biggest sexual organ in the human is the brain - ie that our imagination, thoughts and feelings have at least as much to do with our experience of sexual activity as which body part is being touched in which way.
What is it about another that we fall in love with? It felt entirely plausible to me that the film's protagonist would fall in love with Samantha, who listens intently, encourages him to explore new ideas, and shares her own concerns as well as encouraging him to articulate his own. As a couples therapist I regularly work with people's struggles with the themes of acceptance, real intimacy and unconditional love - and how much does it matter what physical structure those qualities are housed within?
The critics were divided, but this is a movie I would deem worth seeing again - very rare for me!