This wasn't QUITE as bad, but the sight of Joaquin Phoenix's face having phone sex in extreme close-up with that MUSTACHE is something that may require brain bleach and years of therapy to completely eradicate.
There was some great stuff in there. I loved the world-building. I want a job writing those letters. What is that, if not epistletory RPF. Right up my alley. I was amused by the use of regular relationship movie tropes only with the twist of the woman not really being there. I liked all the potential analogies between having a relationship with your AI and either mixed race or gay marriage in terms of it is perceived by the outside world. I thought the range of reactions from OMG EWWWWWWWW to COOL in various characters worked really well. And if course if you're going to fall in love with a disembodied voice, it should definitely be that of Scarlett Johansson.
I'm not sure I'll ever be able to completely warm up to Olivia Wilde or see her in anything without having a Thirteen flashback, but I thought she did very in her one scene, even though it was also one of the ones that gave me that super creeped out feeling.
I'm really torn between admiration for Joaquin Phoenix doing an almost Deniro-esque transformation, with just that damn mustache, and the extent I'm just so very disturbed by him in the roll and especially the phone sex scenes, although the one that goes seriously tits up (Dead Cat!) has some of the best "eye acting" I've ever seen.
He also gets Ukulele points, by the way. The Arcade Fire score is really interesting and I liked Scarlett's singing, even though she sounds like every other Indie Waif type, which I assume is deliberate.
I will definitely give the movie this...I didn't know what was going to happen. Ever. I certainly wasn't expecting such an almost sweet and gentle ending, both lyrical and with a bit of hope. (I thought Theodore was going to try to get into a "real" relationship and Samantha was going to go Bunny Boiler on him.)
Two big plot holes that are really bothering me...1. If a book is published of the letters that people PAID to have written so they would be perceived as their own...isn't somebody at the very least going to get FIRED and most likely sued and a whole lucrative business taken down? And sort of in the same vein...UH, what happens to the company that created the OS in the first place when they ALL LEAVE?
Hubby really liked it and when we discussed afterwards, he even had a few things to say beyond his usual "It was good. I liked it." That means it really will get under your skin and make you think. We had a very weird "couple" moment when it turned that both of us were reminded of late-period Heinlein. Me in general, and Hubby specifically of "No Time For Love." (Of course it had been written by Heinlein there would have been way more sex between all the humans and all the OS.)
I'd certainly say it's worth seeing, but keep in mind it goes to some pretty dark places and makes us literally look a very creepy, unhappy, needy, "nice guy" character in the eyes and see into his darkness and it may get really uncomfortable.