A creatively self-conscious comedy that is part real documentary and part, well, something else, Paper Heart
begins as an inquiry by artist and comedian Charlyne Yi into the nature of love. Working closely with pal and director Nicholas Jasenovec, Yi travels the U.S. looking for anyone who will talk to her about their experiences with or perspectives about love. Along the way, she meets some wonderful people, including older folks, children, and even a celebrity (Seth Rogen) or two. But nothing shakes Yi's skepticism that there is such a thing as permanent, romantic love until actor Michael Cera (Juno
) stumbles into her on-camera life. Shy but curious about one another, Cera and Yi cautiously hook up, troubled by the omnipresence of Jasenovec and his crew but unable to get free of Yi's agreement to allow everything to be filmed. The very pressure under which they try to make their simmering relationship work becomes the test Yi needs to believe that love is real--or, at least, cleverly scripted. It's hard to know exactly where the line is between documentary and fiction in this film, but in a way it doesn't matter. A point or two is made, and the audience gets to enjoy Yi's cardboard-cutout puppetry. --Tom Keogh
Stills from Paper Heart (Click for larger image)
Charlyne Yi does not believe in love. Or so she says. Well, at the very least, she doesn’t believe in fairy-tale love or the Hollywood mythology of love, and her own experiences have turned her into yet another modern-day skeptic.
Follow Charlyne across America as she and her good friend (and director) Nicholas Jasenovec search for answers and advice about love, by talking with friends and strangers, scientists, bikers, romance novelists, and children. They each offer diverse views on modern romance, as well as various answers to the age-old question: does true love really exist? Charlyne’s pursuit to discover the nature of love takes on a fresh new urgency when she meets a boy after her own heart: Michael Cera. As their relationship develops on camera, her pursuit risks losing the person she finds closest to her heart.
Combining elements of documentary and traditional storytelling, reality and fantasy, Paper Heart brings a fresh perspective to the modern romance and redefines the classic love story.