Thanks to the streaming wonder of Netflix, I finally had the chance to catch this little film last night, and I appreciated it for it’s simplicity and honesty.
It’s a fake documentary about Charlene Yi (playing herself) crossing the country to make a documentary about love, since she thinks she’s one of the people in the people in the world who can’t love.
Soon, thanks to a chance encounter at a house party (where, by complete randomness, David Krumholtz of “Numbers” is hanging out, though he has no lines and isn’t even mentioned), she finds herself falling in love with Michael Cera (also playing himself.) As the cameras roll, Charlene and Michael (who may or may not have actually dated in real life…tough to tell) find themselves falling for each other, while struggling with making a connection while the cameras are constantly in their face.
Nicolas Jasenovec, director of “Paper Heart,” is also a character in the film, though he’s played by the charming Jake M. Johnson. As the film crew crosses the country, Charlene interviews bikers at a bar, owners of wedding chapels in Las Vegas, schoolkids on a playground, and a variety of couples who all tell her amazing stories about their life and love. (My personal favorite is a story of a judge and lawyer who fell in love thanks to a pair of Gucci shoes and a rainstorm. Completely “aw”-inducing.)
Yi is endearing, and really the reason to watch the film. It’s nice to find yet another non-traditional female romantic lead in a movie. She also wrote the movie, which won the Waldo Scott Screenwriting Award at the Sundance Film Festival, and co-scored the movie. (The film’s music is very simple and sweet, and I liked it a lot.)
A Note: Though I will always hold Michael Cera close to my heart for both his performance in “Superbad” as well as his participation in what might be the best show ever – Arrested Development – I would really like to see him do something different soon. (Yes, I understand that he’s playing “himself,” but .. really… I need him to play a role that requires something other than a hoodie.) From the trailers for the new Scott Pilgrim movie, it seems to be another typical role for him, though I hope I’m mistaken.
Anyway – Back to “Paper Heart.” It’s cute, it’s short (88 minutes) and it’s charming. It’s a sweet little movie that will make you laugh. And really, what more can you ask?