You would think that it’s a ridiculous premise for a seriously romantic film; heck, it might be more well-suited for a comedic sci-fi. But the way the movie is presented, the captivating screenplay, the sublime acting, and the beautiful cinematography, hooks you in and makes you feel the charming, if eccentric, romance between the two characters.
Set in a slightly futuristic Los Angeles (which kind of looks like present-day Shanghai), the movie tells the story of Theodore Twombly, a melancholic letter-writer—apparently, that’s a thing in the slight future, hiring someone else to write you personal handwritten letters to your loved ones—, who recently separated from his wife, Catherine. Reluctant to go back into dating, he installs a brand new operating system run by an artificial intelligence, who names herself Samantha. They connect instantly, and, maybe it’s the programming or maybe something else entirely, they fall in love.
It’s not only the writing that reels you in, but also the acting. Joaquin Phoenix’s face and Scarlett Johansson’s voice have so much chemistry it makes you forget that one of the characters they play is not a real person. The supporting characters, though they have little screen time and development, really add to the entire theme of the movie, how Theodore feels intimacy with a computer instead of real people. Rooney Mara (Catherine) and Amy Adams (Amy) in particular both give amazing performances for roles that are easily mere background characters.
Though the movie kind of drags in the middle and some characters were a little underdeveloped, I’d still recommend this movie, especially for those feeling a little wistful when it comes to romance. Or if you just want to watch an aesthetically pleasing movie with all of the hugot feels, this is the one for you.
- Isis Evangelista
*photos are screenshots from the movie