After seeing Her in 2013, the Spike Jonze film about a man falling in love with a voice, I was so moved I got annoyed at the guy I was with for not liking it. He said the slow pace “made him anxious”; I feigned sympathy and privately rolled my eyes. I thought about the film for days. My surroundings took on the same orange-y hue of the film, my friends’ voices the same warm timber. I felt unusually present in my body and understood by myself.
When I watched the movie again last year, it didn’t affect me the same way. It still lit up my senses, but it more so brought me back to a mental space I’d since vacated, and made me realize how much I’d changed. I reflected on how rude I’d been about my partner not liking it, and considered what about it had, at the time, felt so urgent. Even though my emotional landscape had changed, the film still managed to turn my wheels.
My affection for Her is distinct because, normally, my movie memory is embarrassingly short. I forget most plots within days of viewing them and return a blank stare when asked about my favorites. I just don’t watch many movies, and rare is the one that sticks with me. Every time someone suggests a title I’ll love, I swear I won’t forget it. And the moment I sit down in front of the TV, a free night in front of me, the Netflix search cursor ready and blinking, it’s like I’ve never heard of a movie in my entire life.
I once asked the MR community to help me compile a list of genuinely addicting books, and I was spoiled with over 1,000 passionate suggestions. I don’t know if you all have the same enthusiasm for movies, but I’d even take a fraction of it for the next time I’m giving my TV a blank stare. This time, the same rules apply: I don’t just want good movies or entertaining movies or ones you recently saw that met your expectations, I want your most heartened recommendation. The one you saw and thought about for days and never forgot. The one that changed you, that you told all your friends to watch immediately, that you’d actually consider buying on DVD if that were still a thing.
What is it? What’s your one? Help me build a safe landing place for those of us prone to Netflix spirals of indecision.
Photo by Paramount/Getty Images.