Written, directed and produced by Spike Jonez, Her proved to be an unsettling, yet enthralling film about a man who develops a loving relationship with a computer operating system.
Receiving widespread critical acclaim for its direction, power and absolute relevancy to our own society, Her is nominated for five Academy Awards at this year’s 89th annual celebration, including Best Film and Best Writing – Original Screenplay.
Compared by critics to the Truman Show, in impact rather than context, Jonez portrays a future not far from our present, stunningly, through Joaquin Phoenix and the voice of Scarlett Johansson. Comparisons are also made between Her and Lost in Translation, with both films providing an uncomfortable yet equally infatuating love affair which compels the watcher throughout.
Described by Empire magazine as “Jonez’s most significant film yet”, Her will leave a lasting impact on all those who watch it. But did Jonez really think of it first?
Introducing, the internet…
As Her continues to receive acclaim for its originality and innovation, loyal fans of the NBC sitcom Community, have been cooking up a storm on Reddit. An adaptation of the Her movie poster has surfaced on the websites Community “Sub-Reddit”, replacing Phoenix with an image of co-star Danny Pudi (Abed), with the caption reading “Community did it first, Abed deserves an Oscar”.
The mock poster refers to an episode in which the “socially disadvantaged” Abed falls in love with Hilda, a character he meets inside a virtual reality video game. The poster was soon pushed to the Reddit front page and fans discussed how writer Dan Harmon, also acclaimed for his creative story-telling, covered the topic of artificial love a full eighteen months before Jonez, albeit a little more light hearted and fun.
However, the real investigators of our good old internet had more. Robot Chicken, already often disregarded for their Star Wars parody, which Family Guy took their inspiration from (openly mocked by Seth Macfarlane during an episode, for how blatantly he stole their idea), also had a similar storyline back in 2006.
Lisa is a short that focuses on a man developing, and then destroying, a relationship with his satellite navigation system. Not only is the story line very similar to that of Her, the voice of the computer is played by Scarlett Johansson. I know, it makes you feel dirty doesn’t it?
Lisa – Robot Chicken (2006) – (WATCH HERE!)
With the Oscars soon approaching, it is not likely that these revelations are going to have much impact on Her’s award winning credentials. In fact, Jonez and his film are both still very popular within the online world. Lisa is fun and does bear striking resemblance to Her, but it does very little to capture the love and romance between man and machine.
It is hard to answer who thought of the idea first, but we can say this. It wasn’t Spike Jonez.