Spike Jonze took his background in directing music video and commercials and turned himself into one of the most creative filmmakers in Hollywood. His debut, Being John Malkovich, is a bizarre ride that managed to gain mainstream success, and even wrangled an Academy Award nomination for Jonze. His follow up, Adaptation, is arguably even stranger, and enjoyed moderate success while capturing another Oscar nom. He hasn’t released a new movie since 2009’s adaptation of the Maurice Sendak classic Where The Wild Things Are, which received mixed reviews from critics and little attention from general audiences. From the look of this new trailer, Jonze’s latest offering, Her, could very well get director back in the good graces of film lovers.
Warner Bros released the first trailer for Her, a story that captures the budding love between a man and his computer. Jonze isn’t subtle with his social satire, but the video looks good, and features amazing music from the likes of Karen O and Aphex Twin. While the premise seems to be on the silly side, Jonze is sure to infuse the movie with a slick look that will appeal to any burgeoning hipsters in the audience.
There are at least two episodes of Futurama that I can point to as a evidence for why I think the premise of this film just looks ridiculous. In “I Dated A Robot”, Fry gets romantic with a robotic Lucy Liu, and in “Love and Rocket”, where Bender hooks up with the Planet Express ship. Watching the trailer for Her, these two episodes definitely kept popping into my head. Hopefully, Jonze’s film will be a better, live-action version of these episodes without making it feel absolutely absurd. I mean really, you’re not supposed to fall in love with inanimate objects. Computers are tools that help people connect to other people, and are by no means meant to replace people.
Her follows Theodore (Joaquin Phoenix), a lonely writer who buys a newly developed operating system named Samantha (voiced by Scarlett Johansson) that is designed to grant its user every and any command. But when a romantic relationship develops between them, Theodore falls deeper and deeper in love. If the artificial intelligence turns out to be a projection of Theodore’s mind, I’m going to be very, very upset.
Her is scheduled to close the 51st Annual New York Film Festival in October, which will also be the world premiere. This marks Jonze’s first solo theatrical screenplay-screenwriter Charlie Kaufman wrote Being John Malkovich and Adaptation, and novelist Dave Eggers co-wrote Where The Wild Things Are with Jonze-and Her is also the director’s first science fiction film.
In addition to Phoenix and Johansson, Her stars Amy Adams, Rooney Mara, Olivia Wilde, Portia Doubleday, Sam Jaeger, Luka Jones, Katherine Boecher, and Chris Pratt, and Canadian indie rock band Arcade Fire composed music specifically for the film.
Her opens everywhere November 20.