Guttman’s Garage – Film Review, “Her”

In blogs, Guttman's Garage by Aida Nangle1 Comment

Screen shot 2014-02-04 at 8.00.00 AM

Her. A non-traditional relationship movie with an excellent performance by Joaquin Phoenix (as Theodore Twombly) and the delightful voice of Scarlett Johansson (as Samantha). Theodore is depressed, separated from his wife played by Rooney Mara, living in an apartment that appears to be too luxurious for a guy employed as a writer but — a minor criticism. Theodore has a married neighbor and friend named Amy. The verbal interplay between Amy and her husband is presented in contrast to Theodore’s communication with “Her”, the voice of his computer’s operating system. Besides Theodore, Amy, her husband, a blind date, and one additional female character, I think I’ve mentioned the entire cast in this 125 minute movie. The film opens with a close up of Phoenix and his character is on screen for virtually the entire film but he pulls it off. Here is someone who speaks freely (with Samantha) as he reveals who he is in ways he never could with his wife, Catherine. Every family psychologist and psychiatrist should see this movie. Samantha, the operating system, is programmed to respond in a favorable way so Theodore feels a sense of freedom and exploration. An interesting twist occurs when Samantha becomes concerned over not being a physical entity, while Theodore is comfortable with being stimulated by a voice. The movie was written and directed by Spike Jonze who has an Oscar nomination for Best Original Screenplay. Jonze is one of the most innovative contemporary filmmakers and this is a singularly unique film about human relationships. This is also another film that I found more enjoyable than anticipated based on the trailer.


Mr. Guttman is a Hawaii attorney and a partner with Kessner Umebayashi Bain & Matsunaga. He was a lecturer for a number of years at the University of Hawaii’s Shidler College of Business, and has served as director of both the Bankruptcy and Collection Law sections of the Hawaii State Bar Association. The national publication lists him as a “Super Lawyer” while as to movies, he’s been an active viewer for as long as he’s been big enough to sit in a theatre seat. A few years ago he began sharing his film commentaries with friends and colleagues. His straightforward reviews continue reaching an ever increasing audience.

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