Some quick, unfinished notes on "Her"

I saw Her a second time on New Year's Day with my husband and a friend, and I noticed a few things, none of which really merit a whole essay but all of which interested me enough to throw them out, in bullet form. So here you go.

  • The costume design is more fun the second time, since you can pay closer attention to what people are wearing. And while the men's clothing seems more stylized, the women's clothing is, too - though they seem to be dressed from more eras than the men (I suppose that's true today as well). My favorite thing is that Amy Adams' character clearly loves menswear, but in the near future, menswear for women has evolved to keep up with menswear for men!
  • Music is so important to the film, and the soundtrack is mostly by Arcade Fire - though I think all the songs with sung tracks feature Scarlett Johansson (who can in fact sing). Given that she's also the voice of Samantha, who is the "female" lead in the movie, it seems to reinforce something that's already true - our devices provide us with a soundtrack for our lives. (Ever stand in the subway and look at all the people around you, and wonder what it would sound like if we could all hear each other's music?)
  • Though I'm not paper purist, I love that Theodore loves Crown Point Press because "they still print books." 
  • Interestingly, I realized this time around that in this vision of the future, nobody cares at all about the privacy of handwritten notes. Everyone reads other people's letters. You could even publish a book of them and nobody would blink. Is this because they're actually digital? I'm so intrigued.
  • On the same point, there's something very fascinating about the fact that at no point do any of these handwritten letters actually include hands writing anything. Even the writers speak. But it looks like handwriting, which presumably people like though they can't really remember why, except as a relic of the past. It's like how they put a "car sound" into electric cars so that people can hear them coming. They're essentially skueomorphic, like most operating systems until the recent iOS redesign.
  • I wonder what it would be like to watch the movie as someone in a serious long-distance relationship.
  • Is it just me, or does the movie very much feel like it could be based on a (less depressing) David Foster Wallace short story? Everything about embodiment and connection - that's all him.
  • The movie is as much about romance and love as it is about growing up and maturing, and how we need friends to help us do that (the best example here is the Amy character, whose friendship with Theodore and with her own OS friend is a huge part of her story). This, in turn, reminds me of the most surprisingly heartwarming film of the year: About Time, which was marketed as a romcom and actually isn't at all. (I reviewed that one here.)
  • This is a great movie, guys. Go see it as soon as you can. (And read Brett's piece first, both in case you want a content advisory and for the theological resonances.)