Man + machine: Joaquin Phoenix falls for computer in 'Her'

Upcoming film directed by Spike Jonze features the eccentric actor falling in love with an operating system. Can you relate?

A promotional image for "Her." Screenshot by Christopher MacManus/CNET

Do you spend more time with a computer, smartphone, or tablet than your significant other? Your life serves as the elementary premise for a futuristic love story, "Her," in which the film's star, Joaquin Phoenix, falls in love with an interactive operating system.

The movie, directed by Spike Jonze and made in collaboration with Annapurna Pictures, also stars it girls Amy Adams, Rooney Mara, and Olivia Wilde.

According to IndieWire, the official synopsis of the film reads as follows:

"In the not-so-distant future, Theodore (Joaquin Phoenix), a lonely writer, purchases a newly developed operating system designed to meet the user's every need. To Theodore's surprise, a romantic relationship develops between him and his operating system. This unconventional love story blends science fiction and romance in a sweet tale that explores the nature of love and the ways that technology isolates and connects us all."

We're not exactly sure how this romantic relationship expresses itself (does he buy the operating system a new app instead of flowers? what happens when he updates the OS?), but we look forward to finding out.

While the idea of a man-loves-computer film might illicit groans, it could also inspire introspection into our own modern-day obsessions. Could "Her" end up foreshadowing a possible future in which we develop genuine deep emotion for our digital assistants? With "Robot and Frank" in theaters now, the movie isn't the first recent movie to explore this ever-more-complicated relationship between humans and technology.

While "Her" has no release date as of yet, IndieWire suggests it could make it as a darling of the movie festival circuit next year. Any guesses which of those actresses may possibly play the voice of the Phoenix's digital love interest? Hopefully any parallels to Apple's Siri won't be too obvious.

 

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