Picture of Dr. Linda Algazi, Ph.D
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January 10, 2014

“HER” played in our local theater. When it was over, several of the moviegoers around me were quite vocal with their reviews.

“Soooo romantic,” cooed one woman.

Her friend agreed. “Samantha and Theodore seemed like the perfect couple.”

For the uninitiated who haven’t seen this film, please note that “Samantha” is the siri-like voice of the operating system in Theodore’s computer. “Samantha” is not a real person.

Theodore falls in love with an operating system.

Played by Joaquin Phoenix, Theodore is a divorced writer whose job it is to write love letters for others. He hasn’t got much going for him, after work, though.

Enter “Samantha”. She is programmed to respond and evolve according to Theodore’s needs. No wonder he is so vulnerable. She’d be a perfect girlfriend, except that she doesn’t have a physical presence. No body. That’s too bad for Theodore.

On the other hand, he gets to imagine her to look any way he likes.

The man next to me thought that was pretty cool. “Very sexy and intimate,” he said.

Really?

Given the amount of time some people spend on-line, maybe having an intimate relationship with a computer is something we should actually be thinking about. What is it about all this, that struck a chord?

Consider that everyone seems to root for star-crossed lovers.

Then think about how Samantha and Theodore have to rely on conversation for their communication. Ask any women. She’ll tell you about what good conversation does for her.

Women think its incredibly sexy to chat all day, and look forward to inordinate amounts of pillow talk and mutual contemplation at night.

(Internet scammers, by the way, have figured all this out and know how to set their bait.)

What makes “HER” interesting is that it portrays a man with these kinds of female sensibilities. Could there be a message here about the changes roles of men and women as we move on tho the future?

The protagonist is portrayed as a man, hungry enough for love and intimacy, that he finds his needs met by an operating system, an “app” with whom he can talk and dream.

Would you be interested in such an app?

Sorry, it’s not available, yet.

In the meantime, I challenge you to try an experiment. Think of it as a grand opportunity.

Talk… and listen, just a little more, to your own flesh and blood wife.

“Samantha” might never measure up.


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