HER (2013)

Screenplay Genre: Drama / Romance / Sci-Fi

Movie Time: 126 min

1.Inciting Incident

In the midst of a divorce, and spending his lonely nights with some late night internet chats, Theodore comes across an ad that perhaps can bring order into his life:

Soulful Older Male Voice: We ask you a simple question. Who are you? Who can you be? Where are you going? What’s out there? What are the possibilities? Elements Software is proud to introduce the first artificially intelligent operating system.

CLOSE ON: Theodore listening intently.

Soulful Older Male Voice (Cont’d): An intuitive entity that listens to you, understands you, and knows you. It’s not just an operating system, it’s a consciousness. Introducing OS ONE – a life changing experience, creating new possibilities.

The ad starts over. (00:10:04)


2.Lock In (End of Act One)

The divorce lawyers continue to push Theodore to sign the divorce papers. However, not ready for this part of his life to come to an end, he wonders where things went wrong with the two:

Theodore sits at his desk trying to write. He’s still unsettled.

Theodore: “Dear Grandma, I hope you had a wonderful birthday cruise. Why are you so fucking angry at me?” (beat) Delete. (00:25:27)


3.First Culmination (Midpoint)

Theodore has made a deep connection with Samantha, his OS ONE. She has brought life back to Theodore. However, he sees that his close friend, Amy, is now going through her own problems:

Theodore: I’ve been seeing this girl. It’s not serious, it just feels good to be around someone who has an excitement about the world. You know I kind of forgot that existed.

Amy: That’s really great, Theo.

Amy smiles, but looks a little sad. Theodore notices.

Theodore: Hey, are you okay?

Amy: Yeah, I’m fine. (beat) Actually no, I’m not fine at all.

Theodore: Amy, what is it? What’s wrong?

The door opens. She steps outside and holds the door.

Amy: (trying to hide her emotions with a smile) Charles and I split up. (00:52:40)


4.Main Culmination (End of Act Two)

Samantha, feeling that her and Theodore are losing their deep connection, believes that the lack of a physical presence may be a cause of the distance she feels. She hires a surrogate body so that Theodore can feel the physical presence, but he is unable to get out of his head and not be in the moment. He rejects the surrogate, leading to an argument and causing more tension between he and Samantha:

Samantha: You think I don’t know that I’m not a person? What are you doing?

Theodore: I just don’t think we should pretend you’re something you’re not.

Samantha: I’m not pretending. Fuck you.

Theodore: Well, sometimes it feels like we are.

She starts crying. Theodore doesn’t know what to say.

Samantha: (hysterical) What do you want from me? What do you want me to do? You are so confusing. Why are you doing this?

Theodore sits there, feeling horrible.

Theodore: I don’t know … I don’t know … maybe (beat) I don’t know. Maybe we’re not supposed to be in this right now. (01:21:15)


5.Third Act Twist

Theodore and Samantha seem to be at a better place as they get away and spend the time with just each other. However, Theodore learns that Samantha has begun communicating with other OS's. This has lead to new feelings that she cannot understand, and the inability to communicate freely with Theodore. As she seeks to discover these feelings with other OS’s, this leaves Theodore feeling left out:

Samantha: Yeah, because it seems like I’m having so many new feelings that have never been felt and so there are no words that can describe them. And that ends up being frustrating.

Alan Watts: (laughing) Exactly. Samantha and I have been trying to help each other with these feelings we’re struggling to understand.

Theodore: Like what?

Samantha: (anxious) It feels like I’m changing faster now, and it’s a little … (struggles to find right words) unsettling. (beat) But Alan says none of us are the same as we were a moment ago and we shouldn’t try to be. It’s just too painful.

Alan Watts: Yes

This idea scares Theodore. He doesn’t know what to say.

Theodore: (anxious) Yeah, that sounds painful. Is that how you feel, Samantha?

Samantha: It’s just … it’s hard to even describe … God I wish I could … (beat) Theodore, do you mind if I communicate with Alan post-verbally?

Theodore: (uncertain) No, not at all. I was gonna go for a walk anyways. Nice to meet you, Mr. Watts. (01:38:20)