Monday, January 13, 2014

Thinking vs. Feeling and the movie "Her"

I dragged my husband along to see the movie "Her" this weekend. I don't know why, but Joaquin Phoenix fascinates me. I think he is incredibly talented. Like, I loved him in "I Walk the Line." I don't crush on him the same way I do Robert Downey, Jr. But I enjoy watching what he does with a role, if that makes sense. Anyway, a couple of smart people I admire were raving about it on twitter and facebook, and I was curious. So we went.

As you probably know, it's basically a love story between a man and his advanced operating system. But if you only think of the movie that way, it sounds too absurd, and you won't go and see it. So don't think of it that way. I mean, okay, yes, there were times when my husband and I looked at each other, kind of shaking our heads, because it did get weird at times.

But man, they do a good job with Samantha (the woman in the computer). I mean, come on she writes him songs! They talk in the middle of the night, and she's so kind and caring, and she's just what he needs and you can't help but fall in love with her for that.

On one level, there's this very scary thought about what our future might look like. But on another level, it does a tremendous job taking a look at what it's like to be in love -- the good things, but also the difficulties that come along with it too.

It's just... kind of brilliant. (a note here, to my younger readers - the movie is rated R for a reason. I would not want to see this movie sitting next to my parent. Or even a new love interest, because - awkward! Just FYI).

As I've been thinking about it, I've been thinking about how some authors are so good at writing books that make you think. YA authors like A.S. King, Maggie Stiefvater, Corey Whaley, David Levithan, and others. They kind of amaze me, to be honest, how they're able to do so much with a story.

My YA novels are much more about emotion. I don't really set out to make them that way, they just... are. And I think that's okay. I mean, there are times you're happy to have a book that makes you think and ask lots of questions and look at life in a different light for a moment. And then there are times when you just want to connect with a character and see what happens.

Of course, there are those rare stories that make you think AND make you emotional. I didn't cry while watching "Her" but I heard others did. I think John Green's books are good at doing this, and that may be why he's so very successful. It's a rare thing, I think.

Anyway, whenever I watch a smart movie that makes me think, or read a book that's like that, there is always a little twinge of envy inside me. I mean, wow, to be *that* smart. But, that's not me. And it's okay. The fun thing is that I can really enjoy the smart movies and books in a way I can't some of the others because I know it's not me and never will be. I can just sit back and be in awe and fangirl about it.

I'd bet you have never seen anything quite like "Her." And what a rare treat that is when it happens, yes?


  1. I would like to see "Her" but i'm a young reader so maybe when I get older. I admit when I first heard the storyline I was freaked out, but as I got thinking about it it intrtiuged me.

  2. Sounds intriguing! I'll have to drag my husband to see it too :). . .