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Paper Heart Review

Paper Heart

Paper Heart is by far one of the most unique and entertaining movies of 2009. It was fun to watch and the performances and chemistry between Cera and Yi were outstanding. I loved this movie!

My rating 4 Stars

What is love? Is it a real thing or something made up? Is it something tangible or conceptual? Is it physiological or psychological or is it chemical? And if love is real is there really such a thing as true love? We feel love, but is it real? Can we control it or does it control us? Why do we fall in love, but most importantly why do we fall out of love? These are all really good questions that most of us ask ourselves once or twice in our lives. None of which are answered in Charlyne Yi’s Paper Heart.

Paper Heart is an interesting concept that is straight from the mind of Charlyne Yi. If you don’t know who she is, join the club; not many people know who she is, at least not yet. Yi is a comedian, I have never seen her stand up, but people say that she’s very creative, talented and funny. Judging from the movie which she wrote, I would agree. Whether or not you find her particular brand of comedy amusing, you must at least agree that she’s unique.

Yi is a silly young woman about knee high. Her cultural background is of Korean, German, Spanish, and Irish. Cheese and crackers she’s a goddamn mutt! She even has a little American Indian in her that is just dying to come out (I can almost hear the rimshot). Yi is also a talented writer, actress, musician, painter, welder, and quantum physicist. Okay, I made up the last two, but the rest is true, she wears many hats and she wears them well; I take my hat off to her—see what I did there? No?

Yi is a true entertainer and a talented one at that. Paper Hear is a great example of that. In this movie she was able to show you everything that she is capable of with overwhelming success. Not only did she write the script, but she also starred, wrote the music and produced the darn thing. Is there anything this lady can’t do? I gotta hand it to her; she has really impressed me. This girl came out of nowhere; I don’t even think that her parents were in the business. How did she manage to break it into that crazy world? I’ll never know, but I’m glad she did because Paper Heart was one of the most unique and entertaining movies I’ve seen in a while.

Paper Heart was an odd ball of a movie, but in a good way. It is also really difficult to describe, mostly because part of me is still wondering what the hell I just saw! It was like some sort of hybrid between a real movie and a mockumentary. The movie starts out as a “documentary” about how Charlyne doesn’t believe in real love and she goes out to interview people about their love experience to get a better perspective on the subject. Her goal is to prove that love is not real or if it is that maybe some people are incapable of it for whatever reason. She finds several individuals and couples willing to talk to her and they all share their interesting and romantic stories about their love or married life and how love has changed their life. On a side note, I wasn’t sold on whether or not these individual’s stories were real, or even if the people telling the story were real or actors. If those people were real then some of the stories told by the interviewees were quite moving and romantic and some even very funny, if they weren’t then Charlyne is quite the writer! Either way, I was moved and impressed.

Each of the stories that are told by the interviewees are complemented by a faux mock-up animation made up entirely of cardboard, string, cotton balls, plastic wrap and a lot of imagination. The scenes were unique and quite fun and they always enhanced the story being told quite nicely. They added a flare of comedy to the spoken story and a sense of intrigue. In my opinion this made for interesting filmmaking to go this route instead of filming a reenactment of the event being told.

During the shooting of the “documentary”, there was a scene where the crew was at a Hollywood party. They were just hanging out with friends. However the “director” of the “documentary” had his equipment with him and he was shooting Charlyne talking and socializing with friends. Michael Cera, whom I hated him in Year One, but thought he did very well with this role, made an appearance at the party and initiated a conversation with Yi. There was something about Yi that Michael found very attractive; he wanted to spend more time with her. At first Yi didn’t really want anything to do with him, of course. But they did become friends and hung out a lot. This was all shot by the “director” of the “documentary” who thought it was a great idea to include the blooming relationship between the two in the “film”. The “director” began seeing a different direction for the film with this new developing story and he took advantage of it. He encouraged Yi to pursue the relationship and see where it would lead. From that point on the film takes on a different avenue and it’s all new, and it makes you wonder is this real? It isn’t, but I thought it was nicely done and beautifully acted.

Paper Heart is quite a story often blurring the lines between what is real and what is not. It was brilliantly written by Yi and was wonderfully acted by both her and Cera. I loved this movie quite a bit. If I have to say anything negative about the film was that there at times the film felt a little repetitive, but that didn’t ruin the film in the least, it’s a minute problem to such an ingenious piece of filmmaking.

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