Her, the Best Picture-nominated Spike Jonze film, got the best reception a film can hope for, but now its charmed life has taken a turn for the worse. Two writers, Sachin Gadh and Jonathan Sender, have filed a lawsuit against Jonze, claiming that he ripped off the idea for Her from a script they wrote in 2011. That script was for a film called Belv about a romantically hapless man who turns to Belv, his cell phone's operating system, to be his wingman. Check the trailer here:
For contrast, if you need a refresher, or haven't seen it, here's the trailer for Her:
This lawsuit is ridiculous. In almost every way, these movies could not be more different. Unlike the moving, gorgeous Her, Belv looks like a dumb bromantic comedy that isn't even funny — unless you dig racist jokes or bad sex puns. It's not a surprise that the powerful Creative Artists Agency rejected the script when Gadh and Sender pitched it in 2011.
Even more absurd are Gadh and Sender's two (that's right: two) alleged similarities between the films. They claim that in both films, the protagonist carries the "love interest" in his front pocket, and that both films explore the human condition through relationships with computers.
Those claims are entirely ridiculous. For one, Belv isn't a love interest like Her's Samantha — he's just a mobile, wisecracking wingman. And the idea of exploring humanity through technology isn't exactly a new idea (see: 2001: A Space Odyssey).
More likely than not, this lawsuit is a publicity grab by Gadh and Sender, who probably wanted to ride the coattails of Her's buzz to attract some attention to their failed project (it was pretty hard even to find Belv on the Internet, which is surely about to change). Headlines that make this seem like a serious lawsuit are pretty overblown, which is ironic: Her, a film that captures the zeitgeist of the media age, is getting its story complicated by the media itself.