You’ve heard of fables for our time? “Her” is a fable for the very near future, and it may haunt you with memories still to come. The film takes place 20 or so years from now, when pants are higher, no one seems to wear belts, and we talk to our electronic devices without thinking twice about it. In this final triumph of the digital, analog has acquired an air of nostalgia, so an information age worker bee like Theodore Twombly (Joaquin Phoenix) can earn a living at BeautifulHandwrittenLetters.com. There he speaks sentences and sentiments out loud for clients who can’t think up their own and watches the words appear onscreen in “personalized” cursive.
Theodore’s very good at his job: He has more than a touch of the poet and his separation from his wife, Catherine (Rooney Mara), has brought out his tenderness along with the glooms. Amy (Amy Adams), an artist friend who lives on another floor of his antiseptic Los Angeles apartment tower, invites Theodore to a party, hoping to see “the old fun you, not the sad mopey you.”