Spike Jonze’s latest, Her, is earning rave reviews for its depiction of the romantic relationship between a lonely male human and a newly sentient, female(-ish) operating system. It’s a high concept played straight, with convincing performances and a realistic futurescape coming together to flesh out big ideas about technology’s role in modern disconnection. Of course, it would be an entirely different film if the genders were reversed.
In the short parody film, Him, written by Chris Eggertsen and directed by Adam Siegel for HitFix, Joaquin Phoenix’s despondent protagonist is rechristened, “Theodora,” while a man does his best to fill the estimable vocal shoes (?) of Scarlett Johansson as the voice of “Sam,” Theodora’s new OS. The first couple minutes of the video is very straightforward; things unfold pretty much as they do in the film. In fact, while there are no major spoilers here, this video plays out best if you’ve already seen the movie. Then, of course, there’s the twist, and we won’t spoil that for you here.
Even before the turn arrives, though, the short film manages to make some of the scenes from the actual movie look ridiculous, just by swapping genders and making minor adjustments. It’s a playful way to look at the movie, just before it gets swept up into a storm of seriousness as award season trudges on.