Sorry, but this is Velveeta-grade cheese. Her is full of these treacly moments, such as when poor Joaquin Phoenix is forced to frolic in public as Theodore’s relationship with Samantha blooms, an emo-adolescent vision of happiness that in no way resembles what being in love looks or feels like. Even the humor — a foul-mouthed video game avatar, a joke about data that is too silly to repeat here — is of the cutesy variety. At one point, a ukulele makes an appearance.
None of this would be even worth mentioning were it not for the glowing reception Her has received in the mainstream press, which could very well land this mawkish mess an Oscar for writing, of all things. But perhaps we shouldn’t be too surprised, since mawkishness is having something of a moment in American culture, popping up most egregiously in the more recent films of Wes Anderson, but also in fashionable literature and broad swathes of indie rock music.
This is the art of the hipster, which is to say that there is a lot of style, but the substance is missing.
Ryu Spaeth, in Spike Jonze’s Her is actually a terrible movie