12 comments on ““Her”: A Confused Take on Love

  1. I’m not sure what you saw in the trailer and were so excited for that was so different from the actual film. I could tell from the trailer what this was. There were no surprises. It’s exactly as advertised. This isn’t a film to watch for wholesome entertainment with a godly message. If this was advertised as a Christian film I could see your frustrations, but this is clearly a very secular film. Anyone who thought this was a story about a healthy kind of love obviously is not very savvy at deciphering film.

    I don’t think Theo was selfish, though; he was broken. It’s not as if he had understanding and comprehension of the things he was doing. As you said, he sort of just reacted to how others treated him. He lacked self-esteem. He didn’t believe in himself. He didn’t know his place in the world, or how to act with people. This is why he turned to his OS when given some attention and affection, as distorted as it may have been.

    • I can’t help but chuckle as I read your comment, Gary. Because you’re absolutely right! Why was I so excited? I think there’s a fuzzy line between optimism and naivete. I like to think that I was being optimistic about the film but I was probably just being naïve (or both). Having said that, Hollywood “secular” movies often contain elements that are entirely helpful for the Christian to employ in conversations about life, the world, and the way God intended for things to be. So I would caution anyone against relegating certain movies into the “secular” category as if there’s nothing useful that can be gleaned from them. “Oblivion” for all intents and purposes is a “secular” movie yet has much to say that resonates with biblical teaching (and for more on that check out my review on it). So I was hopeful that “Her” would, on balance, be useful for Christian case-making. But unfortunately it got too much dead wrong.

      Thanks for the comment!

      • Yeah I agree with you a lot of secular films do have biblical elements, etc. which are often very good, but I think it’s easy to tell “Her” has a very different agenda. I just watched it b/c I wanted to see how far it took things.

        The movie I thought was going to have a Christian message and turn out very differently was another Joaquin Phoenix film “Ladder 49”. I was expecting John Travolta to do something different when getting that call – which is why I watched in the first place. I felt gipped at the end of that one.

  2. Great thoughts Nate. Loved how you applied this to a comparison between eros and agape love. I think that scripture on the “lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes…” is perfectly suitable for this type of film. Great review!

  3. Nice review. I know this movie has gotten a ton of love but I think it has enough shortcomings to undo what it gets right. The sudden bursts of vulgar and juvenile humor in the first half really turned me off. And then there is Hollywood’s usual cynical view of love and relationships.

  4. Yeah, Keith. You’re absolutely right here. “Her” is up for best picture and best original screenplay this year. But, as I mentioned, even from a non-Christian perspective, Jonze’s script fails Theodore’s potential. He’s basically like seaweed floating wherever the ocean takes him. Sad.

    Thanks for the comment!

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