A.V. Club

Coming Distractions: Mae Whitman struggles to be heard in the Operator trailer

While Her crafted a science fiction fantasy where an AI companion was so fully inhabited that a human could fall in love with it, the film had to suspend one painful fact of reality: today’s interactive voice response technology kind of blows. And that appears to be the launching pad for Operator.

Martin Starr plays Joe, a frustrated software engineer at Welltrix trying to create Alexis, a vocal response system for call centers. His manager (Retta) isn’t pleased with the disjointed results. That’s when Starr calls his wife Emily, played by Mae Whitman. A hotel concierge, Emily is patient, calming, and supportive; Joe has an epiphany that Emily is the Alexis he’s been looking for. Soon, Welltrix is on board, and Emily is conscripted to participate. As Emily is relentlessly evaluated, recorded, synthesized, and compressed to extrapolate limitless dialogue, it creates a pressure on her marriage …

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