Monday, January 13, 2014

Sounds Familiar - Her - a film by Spike Jonze

A while back in February of 2012, I published a sweet little short science fiction story that I titled, "Simon's Beautiful Thought". It pleasantly turned out to be one of my more popular stories. I had wanted to write something a bit more sci fi oriented, that was a lot less dark than my usual Horror tales.

It's about a socially somewhat inept but charismatic and good looking young man who just can't keep a relationship with a woman going. He ends up trying various things and finally falls for his smart phone AI, its Artificial Intelligence (yes, kind of like Siri, but not quite) "digital assistant", he called, "Sandy".

I knew several things when I decided to write this story. I knew that its time had come for such a story. I thought people would at first assume it was Horror, and you do just keep waiting for the other shoe to drop throughout the story, but it just never quite does. Or does it? I guess it depends upon your own orientation.

At least it doesn't in the way you might expect it to. Simon falls for his AI and the AI knows it and she is quite fond of him. Will she become jealous of any "real" women showing interest in Simon? Will she respond in a highly intelligent but jealous rage should someone show Simon romantic intent? Being a sophisticated AI she could make things highly interesting for Simon, either in ways that would be useful to him, or quite dramatically detrimental.

There were many ways I could have gone with this story. I knew if I didn't write it at the time, that someone else would. It's not like I was the first to write a story like this, it just seemed timely that I write one like it. I knew someone would come out with another eventually and it would be bigger, probably better, and get a lot more attention. There is after all only so much you can do in a short story. I just wanted to know that I had already gotten one out there. As I wrote it there was a sweetness that developed in the story line that I really liked. And, the meaning of the title fell together quite nicely in the end.

Anyway, someone finally did make a story about this concept. I mean, it was bound to happen and it did in Spike Jonze's new film, "Her", which is getting very good reviews. "Her" was chosen the best film of 2013 at the National Board of Review Awards. Good work guys. The film has also received three Golden Globe nominations for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy, Best Screenplay and Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy.

Staring Joaquin Phoenix as Theodore Twombly, the guy smitten and Scarlett Johansson as Samantha, the voice of the guy's computer operating system.
Joaquin as Theodore Twombly in "Her"

Both actors I enjoy watching a lot and I look forward to seeing the film, even though, sadly, you never actually get to see Scarlett, which is a lose in my book. Still, she has a great voice. Funny how the names of these things seem to start with an "S" (Siri, Sandy, Samantha).

Scarlett Johansson
Well that's really all I have to say. I am very much looking forward to seeing, "Her".

Just for fun I had to add this, preview of the film, "Him" (spoof of "Her").

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