If you are going to make a future fantasy where a guy falls in love with a computer’s synthesised voice it is just as well to secure the services of the world’s sexiest woman to play her. Freshly-crowned by Esquire magazine no less, Scarlett Johansson took Rome by storm to premiere ‘Her’.
Spike Jonze does not make many feature films, but they are always an event, even if his last, 2009’s ‘Where the Wild Things Are’ did not make anything like its 100 million dollar investment.
If ‘Her’ offers the delectable possibility of always having a Scarlett, or Samantha as the operating system likes to be known, in your pocket, it must be quite confining for the actress.
“It was liberating and challenging at the same time. I mean, of course I didn’t have the kind of confines, of you know, sort of judgment that you can kind of place on yourself… and you really work for years and years to try to free, liberate yourself, you know, of yourself in a sense, and be kind of comfortable in your body, and unaware. But at the same time I was also confined to a little box,” said Johansson.
The film eases through the gears, going from drama to romance to comedy as Samantha’s honeyed words take root in hero Theodore’s soul. Joaquin Phoenix was also distanced from his leading lady, as he only played with her voice.
“Scarlett and I were in the same room together, she was in a sound-proof box with a window, but I could still see her,” explained Phoenix.
While Samantha is virtual, Theodore has a real wife, played by Roony Mara, who he is divorcing. Much of the comedy lies in the entanglement of his relationship with both women.
The movie is one of 18 in competition at the eighth Rome film festival, and comes out at the end of the year.