Bill I’s Review – 3.5 out of 5
This is a love story, between a man and ultimately his life. As we first meet Theodore (Joaquin Phoenix, in a tour de force, he’s in literally every scene), he’s shuffling through his day-to-day blah existence, from his weirdly creative job (creating “handwritten” letters for other people) to his hotel room-like condo where he plants himself on his couch to play an interactive reality video game until he’s ready for sleep in a high rise in some not too distant future where men wear high waisted pants and almost everyone is talking on their invisible phones while they walk around. There’s no background noise, which sets an ethereal, plastic world feel, no garbage or poor people in sight, and apparently no one watches TV or listens to the radio. Where’s Howard Stern when you need him. As it turns out, Theodore is an emotional, sensitive guy who’s having trouble getting over his split from his ex-wife and still friend, played by the lovely Rooney Mara. He ends up buying an “operating system” that is intuitive, so much so that he falls in love with her, named Samantha. Scarlett Johannson is incredibly evocative as this ultimate fantasy partner who can, and does, do everything possible to cater to his needs. (all wives should pay attention!) Kudos to a couple of small parts: Olivia Wilde plays a beautiful, charming girl Theo dates once (till she gives a hint into her obsessed psycho mind) and Kristen Wiig (I didn’t realize tlll the credits) histerically plays a sexy girl he has phone sex with. The film has an ending which I won’t give away, except to say that it doesn’t involve procreating little half human, half software beings. It captured my attention throughout, had quite a few funny moments, and ultimately delivers a message that we need to get the most out of the life we are given.