Lessons from the women of ‘Her’

Her was the type of film I knew I’d fall in love with even before I saw the movie. I’m perpetually a sucker for cerebral love stories so this Spike Jonze sci-fi love story was right up my alley. I got the emotional catharsis I craved for when the credits rolled but what really drew me in were the female characters in the film: Amy Adams as Amy, Scarlett Johansson as Samantha, and Olivia Wilde as the smart and beautiful blind date of Joaquin Phoenix’s character Theodore.

Lessons from the women of ‘Her’ - Movie poster

I’ve seen the value of embracing my single girl status lately and found traits in them I’d like to carry on in my life. But before that, I might be writing what can be considered SPOILERS so best skip this entry if you want to watch Her first. But if that doesn’t bother you or you’ve seen the movie as well, then I urge you to read on.

1. Be fearless and honest
Olivia’s character left the biggest impression on me during the post-date make out scene she had with Theodore. She knew how she wanted to be kissed and told the somewhat timid Theodore about it. And she asked him the question a lot of women in her situation would’ve been too afraid to ask. She asked him if he was going to be like the other guys who wouldn’t call after they hooked up. When Theodore hesitated, she just called it off because she didn’t want to have her time wasted.

Lessons from the women of ‘Her’ - Olivia Wilde

It struck me how honest and forward she was. And you can’t blame her for not wanting to have her time or invested emotions wasted on someone who didn’t want to be with her. It’s a tiring thing after all. These traits should also be carried over to all aspects of life though. It’s not the easiest thing to do but being fearless and honest are definite essentials.

2. Own up to your mistakes and let them go
I just have to get this out of the way first. Amy Adams is the shit. She just takes on the character’s she gets so effortlessly that you think she’s the person instead of an actress. Amy (her character) left her husband after she felt so stifled by her husband’s views and lifestyle. She quit because she knew it was no longer working for her. She owned up to that mistake and wanted to carry on with her life so she just let that go. For an overthinker, this is a necessary lesson.

Amy: I feel relieved. I just have so much energy and I just want to move forward and I don’t care who I disappoint. I know that makes me an awful person. Now, my parents they are all upset because my marriage is falling apart and they’re putting it on me.
Theodore: You’re always going to disappoint somebody.
Amy: Exactly. So, fuck it. I feel good…ish for me.

3. Don’t be afraid to reinvent yourself
The sci-fi aspect of the movie had Samantha and all the other OSes moving to a world human comprehension couldn’t understand. If I were to interpret that into something more human-like, Samantha represents this idea that you can’t let anything hold you back. If something helps you grow and that means you have to leave things and even people behind, then you must do that. I loved her parting dialogue with Theodore that goes:

“But it’s in this endless space between the worlds that I’m finding myself now. It’s a place that’s not of the physical world. It’s where everything else is that I didn’t even know existed. I love you so much. But this is where I am now. And this is who I am now. And I need you to let me go. As much as I want to, I can’t live in your book anymore.

And then there’s also Amy again who had to rebuild her life after she split from Charles. I like how she just decided to let all her baggage go and just continue her life and allow herself joy.

”You know what, I can overthink everything and find a million ways to doubt myself. And since Charles left, I’ve been really thinking about that part of myself and I’ve just come to realize that we’re only here briefly. And while I’m here, I wanna allow myself joy. So fuck it.”

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