Review by Jack Foley
FIRST things first…. Paper Heart is not entirely a documentary, so not everything you see is true.
Enter with this in mind and you’ll probably have a good time, as comedian Charlyne Yi – the cute, kooky flat-mate from Knocked Up – embarks on a whimsical road trip across America to find out what love is.
The reason for this is simple… Charlyne doesn’t believe in love and thinks she’ll never find it, but is prepared to listen to the various views and life stories of the many people she interviews (whether they be elderly, middle-aged or even children).
The interviews are true… but the story that unfolds around it, as fictional Charlyne embarks on a tentative relationship with actor Michael Cera under the watchful gaze of her camera-man Nicholas (played by Jake Johnson), is not.
Charlyne’s feelings change, of course, as her scepticism flounders in the face of Cera’s boy-next-door charm and laidback wit – but she has some steep learning curves ahead of her as well. And love can hurt too.
Paper Heart is a cute, inventive and brave experiment that won’t appeal to every taste by virtue of the fact that it blurs the line between fact and fiction so ambiguously.
But for those willing to go with it, Yi, Cera and Johnson provide an amiable triple act, while the various anecdotes from “love veterans” are thought-provoking, romantic and genuinely true. What’s more, they’re often accompanied by some clever puppet animation that adds to the quirkiness of the entire endeavour.
A curiosity piece more than required viewing, Paper Heart is nevertheless a fearless, yet impossibly good natured, look at love and romance that should resonate with anyone who sees it.
Yi and her collaborators, meanwhile, prove themselves a talented bunch whose future projects should be worth keeping an eye on.
Running time: 88mins
UK DVD & Blu-ray Release: February 8, 2010
- Buy it on DVD (Amazon)
- Buy it on Blu-ray (Amazon)
- Read our review
- Paper Heart – Charlyne Yi and Nicholas Jasenovec interview
- Paper Heart - UK Premiere Gallery