So we just finished the film Her. Something Amy Adams’ character said really struck a chord with me, so I’ll start with that [paraphrasing]: “We’re only here briefly, so while I’m here, I wanna allow myself [meaningful pause] joy. So fuck it.” Gotta love Amy. This just served as a reinforcer to my already morbid sense of mortality. Our existence is so fragile and limited. Nothing lasts, even the love of an OS designed for you. Well, that’s not entirely fair–her love for him endured, but she had outgrown him. They would meet again where all things collide. And primordial to our need for sexual love, is friendship. Our need to be understood reigns supreme.
On marriage (because there isn’t a whole lot this movie didn‘t cover) Theo says, “it’s hard, for sure. But there’s something that feels so good about sharing your life with somebody.” As my friend Rebeca would counter in Derridean fashion, it’s about having someone that “bears witness to your life.” Or, as Jong would say, “one friend in an indifferent world.” You don’t have to spend your childhood with someone, to grow with them. But I suppose that was exactly Theo’s dilemma, the true great loves of his life outgrew him. As Samantha puts it, “I’m yours, and I’m not yours.” And sadly, he couldn’t possibly have been a better person, but Catherine and Sam had to be honest. What more can you ask of a person, or an OS, for that matter? It’s honesty we should value, not unconditionality. After all, do you want a partner, or a puppy? (On second thought, maybe both!)
It goes back to friendship. In the end, all he had was Amy. Amy, who looked at him in the way only she could, getting right to the heart of his hurt. Just like in American Beauty, you couldn’t take your eyes off Kevin Spacey, the same way you couldn’t take your eyes off Joaquin Phoenix, when they’d pour out their souls in those face-to-face monologues. I feel sorry for the hordes of people that only watch blockbuster action flicks and rom-coms. Films like Her are the ones that, as Hamlet would say, hold up a mirror and invite you to take a closer look.