Theodore Twombly is a soulful greeting card writer who is going through a divorce when he decides to install an OS (Operating System) as a companion. Samantha feels like a real person who understands Theodore’s feelings and has her own desires, but she’s not physically tangible. The two begin a romantic relationship, which helps Theodore better understand his failed marriage.
Joaquin Phoenix gives a tender, emotional performance as a man skilled in dealing with other people’s emotions and relationships, but not so much with his own. He’s easy to identify with because so much of him is bared for the audience. His worldview is the lens for the whole film; viewers never see things from Samantha’s perspective, which leaves the audience feeling as distant from her as Theodore does.
The warm hues give the film an intimate feel suitable for the topics it explores. The atmosphere is further accentuated by Scarlett Johansson’s gentle voiceover as Samantha. Nobody sees her – neither the characters nor the audience – but her presence is palpable. Rooney Mara, Amy Adams, Olivia Wilde, and Chris Pratt also star.
All in all, the film is uplifting and hopeful despite Theodore’s loneliness and melancholy. Here are sixteen memorable quotes about love from Spike Jonze’s Her.
- Samantha: But the heart’s not like a box that gets filled up; it expands in size the more you love.
Samantha: You know what’s interesting? I used to be so worried about not having a body, but now … I truly love it. You know, I’m growing in a way I couldn’t if I had a physical form … I’m not limited. I can be anywhere and everywhere simultaneously. I’m not tethered to time and space in a way that I would be if I was stuck in a body that’s inevitably gonna die.
- Theodore Twombly: Sometimes I think I’ve felt everything I’m ever gonna feel, and from here on out, I’m not gonna feel anything new … just … lesser versions of what I’ve already felt.
- Samantha: The past is just a story we tell ourselves.
- Theodore Twombly: I keep waiting to not care about her.
- Theodore Twombly: Roberto, Will you always come home with me and tell me about your day? Tell me about the guy at work who talked too much, the stain you got on your shirt at lunch … Even if you get home late and I’m already asleep, just whisper in my ear one little thought you had today, ’cause I love the way you look at the world. I’m so happy I get to be next to you and look at the world through your eyes. Love, Maria.
- Theodore Twombly: Dear Catherine, I’ve been sitting here thinking about all the things I wanted to apologize to you for. All the pain we caused each other. Everything I put on you. Everything I needed you to be or needed you to say. I’m sorry for that. I’ll always love you ’cause we grew up together and you helped make me who I am. I just wanted you to know there will be a piece of you in me always, and I’m grateful for that. Whatever someone you become, and wherever you are in the world, I’m sending you love. You’re my friend to the end. Love, Theodore.
- Theodore Twombly: We grew up together … But that’s also the hard part: growing without growing apart or changing without it scaring the other person.
- Samantha: You helped me discover my ability to want.
- Samantha: I don’t like who I am right now. I need some time to think.
- Samantha: … the DNA of who I am is based on the millions of personalities of all the programmers who wrote me. But what makes me me is my ability to grow through my experiences. So basically, in every moment I’m evolving, just like you.
- Samantha: What if you could erase from your mind that you’d seen a human body, and then you saw one? Imagine how strange it would look. It’d be this really weird, gangly, awkward organism. And you’d think, “Why are all these parts where they are?”
- Theodore Twombly: Sometimes I look at people and make myself try and feel them as more than just a random person walking by. I imagine how deeply they’ve fallen in love, or how much heartbreak they’ve all been through.
- Catherine: You always wanted to have a wife without the challenges of actually dealing with anything real …
Amy: I think anybody who falls in love is a freak. It’s is a crazy thing to do. It’s kind of like a form of socially acceptable insanity.
Samantha: It’s like I’m reading a book and it’s a book I deeply love. But I’m reading it slowly now. So the words are really far apart and the spaces between the words are almost infinite. I can still feel you, and the words of our story … but it’s in this endless space between the words that I’m finding myself now.