Paper Heart: Movie Review
Cast: Charlyne Yi, Michael Cera, Jake Johnson
Director: Nicholas Jasenovec
Paper Heart is a curio of a film.
Part documentary, (small) part animation, it stars Charlyne Yi, as an
accentuated version of herself.
She's an American teen comedian who in this film sets out to find out what
love is, having never personally experienced it herself.
So she heads across America at the behest of her doco producer and talks to
various couples to get their stories on how they fell in love and to see if she
can get some inspiration on being struck hard by Cupid's bow.
But on the journey, she meets up with Michael Cera (Year One, the great TV
show Arrested Development) and they end up forming a bond and a little bit of a
However, Charlyne begins to realize her quest may have had unforeseen
Paper Heart treads a fine line between mockumentary and doco - the scenes of
couples telling their stories of how they realized they loved each other are
sweet and the paper animation that Charlyne uses to bring them to life are just
She meets a pair of judges who tell of how a rain storm brought them
together; she gets blasted by a psychic's vision of her future and she goes to a
wedding to see how it's all done - this film is clearly not aimed at the
But yet, it's hard not to be cynical as she forms the relationship with the
ever affable and permanently awkward Michael Cera. While it's well played on
screen, personally that was the problem I had - it felt played. There's some
discussion of it being awkward with the cameras there, musings about whether
they should kiss on camera take a bit of heart out of the film.
Further reading about Paper Heart afterwards only give more credence to the
fact I felt a little conned at the end - but that's a minor complaint.
While parts of Paper Heart don't work as well as they could, there's a lot to
love in this film - it has a charming heart and an endearing spirit.