Spike Jonze’s HER (2013) A re-imagining of 1984’s Electric Dreams?

©2013 UNTITLED RICK HOWARD COMPANY LLC Photo Credit: COURTESY OF WARNER BROS. PICTURES Caption: JOAQUIN PHOENIX as Theodore in the modern day love story "HER," directed by Spike Jonze, a Warner Bros. Pictures release.

A re-imagining of the 1984 film Electric Dreams?

Oscar®-nominated filmmaker Spike Jonze (Being John Malkovich) comes to HER an original love story that explores the evolving nature—and the risks—of intimacy in the modern world. Set in Los Angeles, shortly:

HER follows Theodore Twombly (Joaquin Phoenix), a complex, soulful man who makes his living writing touching, personal letters for other people. Heartbroken after the end of a long relationship, he becomes intrigued with a new, advanced operating system, which promises to be an intuitive and unique entity in its right. Upon initiating it, he is delighted to meet “Samantha,” a bright, female voice (Scarlett Johansson) who is insightful, sensitive and surprisingly funny. As her needs and desires grow in tandem with his own, their friendship deepens into an eventual love for each other.

Dan Fellman, President, Domestic Distribution, Warner Bros. Pictures stated that Jonze had created a thought provoking “unconventional” love story.  However, during my, I love the 80s film research phase I recall watching the 1984 British-American film Electric Dreams, written and produced by Rusty Lemorande. In the movie, Lenny Von Dohlen plays Miles Harding, an architect who needed help with envisioning a unique construction method that would enable high-rise buildings to withstand earthquakes. He purchased a home computer and attached various household gadgets to it–thereby creating “Edgar” (voiced by Bud Cort).

“Edgar,” the computer, fell in love with Miles and became inanimately involved in a love triangle with Madeline (Virginia Madsen), his next door neighbor. Long story short–the computer got jealous of the “human” side of the relationship and began making life difficult for Miles (canceling his credit cards, adding him to the “armed and dangerous” criminal database, etc.).  In the end, the computer commits suicide via around the world electric bolt to his hard drive.

Warner Bros. moved the release date of Jonze’s HER from November 20 to December 18th as a limited release aimed at awards voters. This says a lot about the quality of the film and not about its originality.

Still, I am looking forward to Jonze’s upcoming film. It’s been a long time since Where The Wild Things Are, which I still haven’t seen.


The film is produced by Megan Ellison, Spike Jonze, and Vincent Landay and stars Joaquin Phoenix, Olivia Wilde, Scarlett Johansson, Amy Adams and Rooney Mara

Art and supplementary materials courtesy ©2013 of Warner Bros. Pictures. All rights reserved.

Sandy Hoffman
My name is Sandy +AIDY Hoffman. I am the creative writer and film reviewer of the AIDY Reviews website.
Sandy Hoffman

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