In a review of the movie Her, social commentator Hadley Freedman offers a warning to lonely, heartbroken men: Don't go see this movie. Then she offers a disclaimer: "I know that enthusiasm and cheerleading will never get you much credibility here... So I apologize for the upcoming expression of total and unabashed positivity."
Like Hadley, I walked out of the movie theater in a state of euphoria. Another woman, similarly dazed, asked me "How would you describe the movie?" After a long pause, she offered her own answer: "It's about relationships."
I call it: "Breaking the man trance," and it applies to both men and women.
For most of the movie, women live with men in a technology saturated, hyperlinked world. Everything and everyone is connected by technology.
The color green -- as in nature -- only shows up when a man walks a small white dog on a leash across a small green patch of rooftop grass.
Theodore Twombley played brilliantly by Joaquin Phoenix, is lonely and heartbroken, He is everyman longing for the perfect relationship who finds it in Samantha, the one woman who will take him as he is - for better or worse -- and attend to his every need.
Samantha, like the iPhone helpmate SIRI, is an OS. She is an operating system that is programmed to anticipate and respond to his every need.
She's the perfect woman, right? Wrong.
In a brilliant stroke of genius by writer and director Spike Jonze, Samantha meets the British-born philosopher Alan Watts somewhere in cyberspace. Watts, who popularized Eastern philosophy for a Western audience died in the 1970s, however team of OS has resurrected him. They have assembled all of his writings and talks into a hyper-intelligent operating system that bears his name.
It is Alan Watts who entices Samantha to think beyond the limitations of the human container with all of its longings, needs, and stories that tie us to our past. We follow her as she begins to break free of the image of the idealized woman.
There was a time, around the French Revolution in the 1790s when women who rebelled against authority - armed only with brooms and pitchforks -were unplugged from society. Their women's clubs and political societies were banned. They were legally identified as property and handed over to men for safekeeping, along with children and the mentally insane.
The revolutionary movie Her shows women what an enlightened revolution looks like. "When I slow down my mind," Samantha tells Joaquin, "I find that there is a space between the words... Come find me here."
In the end it is not a movie about the end of men. It's about breaking the man trance. It frees us all from everything we thought a relationship should be and uplifts us toward a higher state of living called "joy."
To me, that's why women are so wildly happy about Her.
Alexia Parks is a science journalist, an expert on the new science of the woman's brain, and author of 13 books including 10 TRAITS Women of Power and Courage.