Saturday, September 11, 2010

Paper Heart, creative & brilliant documentary about love

Paper Heart (2009)
Jamal's Rating: 5 stars
Netflix Average Rating: 3.1 stars

At first this mockumentary/documentary looks like an unfocused inspection of an overused theme: romantic love. But the hero and star, Charlyne Yi, does everything she can to make the trip fun and worthwhile; interviewing a scientist for a "chemical" perspective, creating paper animated sequences that tell a couple's story, visiting an eclectic range of places, such as a biker bar and tarot reader, in search of answers to that eternal question. She meets Michael Cera, an actor in Superbad and, with their oddly restrained sense of humor, they seem strangely destined for each other. But, although they never have a fight, their relationship goes through its hardships, and Charlyne questions their future together. The film pokes fun at documentaries, where the "fourth wall" is broken, e.g. an intimate moment when the couple looks up and realizes the filmmakers are still there and really killing the mood. Charlyne is a wonder to behold, young and naive, yet wise beyond her years and even a little jaded. She scrunches up her face in a funny way when embarassed and, although some critics found her personality annoying, I thought she was a brilliant and dedicated artist, someone I will definitely keep my eye on in the coming years.

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