Spike Jonze’s latest feature Her is an interesting film because it manages to rattle a cage that everyone can relate to: the enriching, yet alienating effect of technology on relationships. The premise of the film is that a middle aged man named Theodore Twombly (Joaquin Phoenix) —clutching a twenty-something hipster lifestyle—is on the rebound from an impending divorce. Indeed, the title is deceptive because it's mostly about him, not any given "her." Theo’s soon-to-be ex-wife, Catherine (Rooney Mara), is first seen through flashbacks of warm conversation and canoodling. As a single man, Theo is functional, but emotionally distant. In an obvious irony, Theo works as a ghost writer of intimate correspondence at a company that provides this service. In this undetermined future Los Angeles with computers, earpieces (like mini Bluetooths) and LCD screens everywhere, even letter writing is done technologically—Theo speaks and his words are scribbled in handwritten text on a digital paper. In an attempt to have a relationship without the risk of emotional connection (and to curb an appetite for anonymous phone sex and porn), Theo purchases an artificially intelligent computer operating system or OS that names itself Samantha (Scarlett Johannson). The OS serves as a kind of helper in organizing various digital media, his daily itinerary, and promises to be a custom-made experience. But Samantha is more than that; she is an undefinable albeit disembodied woman with a sexy, husky voice. She is uncannily intuitive, intelligent, adventurous, nurturing, and independent—an exponential digital entity with the capacity for self-awareness. After a kind of trial period as friends during which Samantha sets him up on a blind date, Theo and Samantha begin a courtship, fall in love and she becomes Her. Without detailing the entire film, Her is a meditation on how we define relationships, love, humanity and what this says about the fundamental purpose of existence. Now, these are all valid areas of human exploration in our increasingly digital age, and yet there are hardly any substantial characters of color in the film to explore these issues (Asian actress Laura Kai Chen features as the girlfriend of Theo’s colleague Paul, played by Chris Pratt). Per usual, we are not really part of the future. Even in a digital short directed by collaborator Lance Bangs, that features artists reacting to the film, what you see is a bunch of white artists and three Asian artists. I’m not implying that black people, for instance, must be a part of Her, but I see why a number of black folks that I know cannot relate to a movie supposedly about love and universal connection—we ain’t invited! In fact, the only human Theo manages to relate to is Amy Adams who plays a neighbor and friend, also named Amy. In looking at the official website, it’s clear that Her is a cult film—for young to middle aged white hipster types—with a pseudo spiritual agenda in exploring how we are all “one” as in the Buddhist sense. However, the pretention in seeing that as an innovative premise for a film is so…American. Yes, Her is beautifully acted, beautifully shot, boasts amazing landscapes, great music and a cohesive script, but in the end it feels like a pseudo-spiritual hipster music video about “how to find your bliss”—which it actually is.