And I don’t remember the last time I’ve felt so emotionally challenged by a movie.
Let me start by saying I don’t watch movies all that often. I have somewhat of a short attention span. I battle with depression and I also have a very addictive personality, so I choose to combat one with the other. I prefer to engross myself in things that I can fully throw my brain at, which often work out to be video games or projects. Not usually movies. I don’t claim to be a critic but I find so many movies to be predictable or clichéd and if I can roughly guess the rest of the movie’s story line, I lose focus pretty quickly.
That being said, this movie is so believable and the main character played by Joaquin Phoenix is so real and relatable that I had no problem losing myself for the full two hours this movie runs.
Spoiler-free summary, no worries. The plot is set in the not-so-distant future, where our protagonist Theodore is on the tail end of a divorce and struggling to cope. He’s fairly mopey but prefers to internalize most of it, and comes across as a slightly awkward but friendly guy. He sees an ad for an artificial intelligence computer operating system, and seeing as his life is a mess, he decides a little help won’t hurt him. Very quickly he becomes charmed and infatuated by the friendly AI who takes the persona of a woman and names herself Samantha.
There are sci-fi elements to the story but you couldn’t really call it a sci-fi movie. The movie is only set far enough into the future to make the elements believable. The story instead focuses on the relationship formed between Theodore and Samantha. Now at this point a lesser movie would fuck everything up. This so easily could have become very cheesy and awkward to watch. But the film is directed so gracefully and the acting is so fantastic that I had no problems becoming just as emotionally attached to the AI woman as I was the real people, and that is a huge hurdle to overcome.
This sets the stage for a movie that challenges what really defines a relationship. You feel the love and joy the characters have, but you also feel the limitations they are forced up against. The differences between their relationship and our preconceived notions become all too clear.
I’d love to babble on about more of the plot elements but I really don’t want to ruin it for anyone considering watching it, and if there is one purpose I have to writing this, it is to convince you to see it.The directing is amazing, the art style fits perfectly and I was reminded what real acting actually looks like. It will leave you thinking for a long time, but you’ll also find yourself looking inward at your own feelings and beliefs. It’s beautiful and one of the best movies I have ever enjoyed.