Thursday, January 16, 2014
I think a law should be passed in the state of Texas that prohibits people from seeing movies in public during the height of allergy season. And yes, I truly believe that this is a far more important issue than women’s rights, hate crimes, or even gun racks! There is nothing that can ruin a date night at the movies faster than some scrub sitting next to you sneezing repeatedly and building a collection of snot rags while you’re trying to put the moves on your woman .Was I the guy putting the moves on his woman? No! I was the scrub that was sneezing repeatedly, and I felt awful for everyone that happened to be around me; especially the poor guy who sat on the other side of me. At one point during the movie one of my snot rags fell on his seat and I spent the entire time trying to slyly pick it up without him noticing or thinking that I was trying to pick his pocket.
I realize I should’ve done the right thing and stayed at home but I had been looking forward to Spike Jonze’s weird take on love for a while and if that meant I could no longer play the role of Bubble Boy, so be it! Plus when you have weirdos teaming up with other weirdos, something fun is always bound to happen. Jonze was able to convince Joaquin Phoenix to continue his Hollywood comeback since his sabbatical on Mars or whatever planet he went to that made him think he could rap is apparently over. Say what you want about this introverted recluse, he can certainly act, and I believe he was perfect for this role. I cant think of many actors that could play the role of Theodore Twombly and not have their natural personality get in the way. I love Denzel but we have been exposed to so much of him off screen that you start to easily see his personality bleed into his characters and ultimately all you end up seeing is just Denzel reciting lines and being cool. I’d say the say about Tom Cruise but you can never really trust aliens so who knows what his real personality is like.
The point I’m trying to make is that for this story to work, you truly had to believe that Phoenix would really feel more comfortable being in a relationship with an operating system versus that of an actual person. And yes, you read that correctly; in continuing with what has become the norm for Jonze, he has found yet another way to bring his unique and odd view of the world to the masses. I will never forget his awesome choreographed dance for the otherwise forgettable Fatboy Slim song Praise You.
In his latest effort, you are introduced to Theodore(Phoenix), a greeting card writer who is wandering through life basically alone ever since his breakup with his wife Rooney Mara. He goes to work, barely talks to anyone, and his only true interaction is with his computer that allows him to access everything he could possibly want. He has a few interactions here and there with his neighbor Amy Adams and her husband but for the most part, he’s stuck in a rut and left to video games and random online gossip stories to help him pass the time. This is until the day he decides to buy the latest operating system that has just been made available to the public. It is an artificial intelligence OS that is designed to fit around your personality and cater to your specific needs. It has its own personality and you can also select the gender you want. Since it is a new OS, it is also new to the world and reacts to things that we consider normal with the newness and excitement that Theodore is hopelessly attracted to.
Think about it, it’s a disease free woman of age that has no baggage from previous relationships and her only care in the world is to connect with you and make your life better. I’d be all over her (no pun intended) too; especially since she sounds like Scarlett Johansson. The voice is Scarjo’s by the way and she turns in an awesome vocal performance as Samantha, his OS. She brings her natural energy and sexiness to the character and that helps make the love scene between them more believable than awkward. But believe me, it is awkward! The good thing is, Jonze sets the stage for this with another odd sex scene that takes place between Jonze and Kristin Wiig, in what is easily the funniest scene in the movie.
Without Phoenix’s naturally weird disposition, Jonze’s unique eye, Scarjo’s presence, and the great score provided by Owen Pallet and Arcade Fire; you were probably going to be stuck watching one the worst unintentionally funny romantic comedies of all time. But instead what you ended up with was one of the most unique love stories you’ll ever see; and this is coming from someone who thought that Ryan Gosling’s Lars and the Real Girl could never be beaten in that category.
I rate this movie as FRESH and suggest that you see it; if for nothing else than to see the futuristic high waisted pants everyone wears. I have a buddy who has a girlfriend that’s already rocking these, I guess she’s ahead of her time.