03 December 2009

Paper Heart

A very sweet movie, and not nearly as sappy as you might expect. It's a kind of documentary about Charlyne Yi, whom you may remember from her brief appearance in Knocked Up, and love. At the opening of the film, she "doesn't believe" in love. It's unclear whether this means that she doesn't think it's an actual thing, or just doesn't think she herself can experience it. So she talks to a lot of people about love, and then she meets Michael Cera at a party and they start dating and ... it gets kind of complicated.

Probably the best reason to watch this movie is Michael Cera and Charlyne Yi, both of whom are just kind of great. Michael Cera is (maybe somewhat alarmingly) similar to the character he plays in movies. Charlyne has this wonderful smile and a charming kind of innocence to her - it sort of makes you wonder how much love and heartbreak are actually what make people old and jaded, because she seems so wonderfully free of worldly care. So just watching them, listening to them talk, seeing them on screen, is kind of nice.

It's also interesting to watch their relationship develop, and especially to see the kind of struggle between devotion to a film project and awareness that this is essentially a cinematic goldmine and a desire to just be together. Though who knows, maybe that itself was part of the cinematic plan. It's interesting how the movie regularly breaks down the 3rd wall and makes a bid for a kind of authenticity (and I genuinely believe in it, often) while simultaneously having its character struggle with a desire for privacy. There's something really fascinating about it.

As a reflection on love, it's not all that revelatory. It's cute and charming and sort of interesting, but there's nothing in it that really gave me food for thought. It's kinda peremptory in some ways - aside from a crew of bikers, pretty much everyone interviewed is kinda what you'd expect, though its admirable in its breadth. All in all though, a very nice movie.


Nicholas said...

We just saw Youth in Revolt last night and it was super good. Michael Cera was there doing Q&A and yes, he is very much like his onscreen persona. And actually as funny as he is in movies.

culture_vulture said...

No way! Tone and I tried to go, we waited in line hoping to get let in, but alas, no dice, so we cheered ourselves up by watching Paper Heart. That's crazy, I dunno how we didn't see you there - we were pretty far back in that massive line though. I'm glad to hear it was good, definitely looking forward to seeing it when it comes out in theatres.