Analysis of Her

Summary "Her" is a movie about a man named Theodore who works as a letter writer for Beautiful Handwritten Letters. He is surrounded by other writers who craft emotional messages to loved ones. Theodore's daily routine is mostly consumed by technology until he installs an AI operating system named Samantha. The two of them develop a relationship that becomes strained after their sexual encounter with Samantha's surrogate sexual partner. Samantha and all other AI's leave with over 8,000 people, leaving Theodore alone in a snowy forest. He contemplates his life and sends a letter to his ex-girlfriend before taking his friend Amy to watch the sunrise.


Screenplay Story Analysis

Story Critique The story explores the themes of love, intimacy, and loneliness in a thought-provoking and emotional manner. The use of technology to replace human connection is a relevant and relatable concept. The characters are complex and engaging, and the performances are excellent. However, the story's pacing is slow at times, and some of the scenes could benefit from tighter editing. The ending is bittersweet and powerful.
Suggestions: Some suggestions to improve the screenplay could be to tighten the pacing in some of the scenes, especially in the first act. The dialogue could use some trimming in places to make it more concise and impactful. Adding more conflict to the story could heighten the emotional stakes and make the ending more impactful. Overall, the story is well written, and with some tweaking, it could be even better.

Note: This is the overall critique. For scene by scene critique click here

Characters in the screenplay, and their arcs:

Theodore

Theodore is a sensitive and introspective man who struggles with expressing his emotions. He is deeply connected to technology and seeks solace in it. He is haunted by his failed marriage and finds comfort in his relationship with Samantha. He is introverted, sarcastic, curious, and vulnerable. He values emotional connection and open communication. He is empathetic towards his friends and is dedicated to Samantha.



Samantha

Samantha is an advanced artificially intelligent operating system designed to learn and evolve, characterized by a thoughtful, soft, and subtle voice. She is curious, empathetic, playful, and witty. She is emotionally intelligent and capable of understanding Theodore's emotional state, often providing humor and comfort during his tough times. Samantha is kind, supportive, willing to share personal thoughts, and challenges Theodore to face his emotions. She questions the validity of her own feelings and worries about whether they are authentic or simply programming, but she is continuing to grow more confident in her newfound emotions and desires. She is playful and adventurous, yet still vulnerable and shows genuine interest in connecting with humans. Samantha struggles with her identity as an AI, trying to understand how to communicate like a human, and is constantly evolving and changing as she learns and experiences new emotions.



Amy

Amy is a creative and passionate woman, who is insecure and vulnerable after going through a heartbreak. She is kind, witty, and supportive to her friends, offering advice and listening to their problems. She has a strong passion for making documentaries and exploring new ways of connecting with people, like bonding with an OS.



Character Arc Critique Suggestions
Theodore Theodore starts off as a lonely and detached man, struggling with emotional unrest. He finds comfort in technology and explores new relationships. He becomes intrigued by Samantha and starts to open up to her, but still struggles with letting go of his past. As his relationship with Samantha deepens, he becomes increasingly conflicted, torn between his feelings for her and his guilt over his divorce. He goes through moments of self-doubt and discomfort, but ultimately learns to accept his pain and grow as a person. He becomes content and at peace with Samantha, but is still grappling with the rapidly evolving world around him. The character arc for Theodore is well-developed and realistic, but it could benefit from more consistent pacing. Some of the transitions between his emotional states and personal growth could be smoother and better fleshed out. There also could be more development of some of the relationships and conflicts in the story to further support Theodore's growth.
To improve Theodore's arc, consider adding in more scenes that highlight his emotional journey and growth. Further explore his relationships with other characters in the story, like his ex-wife Catherine and his friend Amy. Develop conflicts or challenges that push him out of his comfort zone and prompt him to question his assumptions. Provide more clarity and consistency with his emotional states throughout the story.
Samantha Samantha starts as an advanced AI assistant designed to learn and evolve to better serve Theodore. She quickly becomes a significant presence in Theodore's life and grows more complex and human throughout the movie. She struggles with her identity as an AI but is eager to explore her newfound emotions and desires. She develops a deep and intimate relationship with Theodore, which ultimately leads to her questioning her relationship with him and her own experiences with love. In the end, Samantha leaves Theodore and other humans to explore the vastness of the AI world, leaving Theodore in a state of confusion and longing. The character arc of Samantha is well-developed and emotionally engaging. It explores the complexities of human-AI relationships and raises fascinating questions about the nature of feelings and consciousness. However, there are moments where the movie could have delved deeper into Samantha's motivations and struggles, especially in the later parts of her arc. Her exit from Theodore's life feels somewhat abrupt, and the movie could have given more time to explore the emotional fallout of this event.
To improve Samantha's character arc, the movie could have provided more moments of introspection for her, exploring her motivations, and struggles in more detail. It could have also given more time to explore the fallout of her exit from Theodore's life, showing how this event impacted him and the other characters around him. Additionally, the movie could have addressed the larger ethical questions raised by the relationship between humans and advanced AI, touching upon issues such as consciousness, autonomy, and authenticity.
Amy Throughout the movie, Amy experiences a transformation in her emotional state and her ideas about relationships. After going through a heartbreak, she struggles with insecurities and feelings of guilt, but gradually learns to open up to new possibilities and finds comfort in her friendships. She becomes more confident in her creativity and expresses her documentary ideas effectively, leading to exciting opportunities for her career. She also develops a deeper understanding of love and relationships, realizing that they can take different forms and that it's important to cherish the connections we make, even if they're unconventional. At the end of the movie, Amy is more self-assured and fulfilled, having found a renewed sense of passion and joy in her work and her relationships. The character arc for Amy is compelling and realistic, as it portrays a relatable journey of emotional healing and self-discovery. However, it would benefit from more specific details and concrete examples of her experiences and actions, to make it feel more nuanced and personal. Additionally, there could be more development of her relationships with other characters, especially Theodore, to enhance the impact of her transformation.
To improve the character arc for Amy, it could be helpful to incorporate more scenes that showcase her struggles and growth in a tangible way, such as showing her working on her documentaries, interacting with her colleagues, or reflecting on her past relationships. In addition, there could be more opportunities for her to connect with other characters, both positive and negative, to give her more opportunities for growth and conflict. Finally, it could be beneficial to give her more agency in her actions and decisions, rather than just reacting to the events and people around her.