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Home Reviews LFF LFF: Paper Heart
LFF: Paper Heart Print E-mail
Written by Ivan Radford   
Saturday, 17 October 2009 12:35
Director: Nicholas Jasenovec
Cast: Charlyne Yi, Michael Cera, Jake Johnson
Certificate: PG

Paper Heart is a hard film to figure out. Then again, it's written by someone who's part-Filipino, semi-Spanish, kind of Korean, a little bit Irish, sometimes German, occasionally French and now and then Native American, so it's not that much of surprise. This is Charlyne Yi - stand-up comedienne, actress and all-round loveable wacko. Or at least, she would be, if she knew what love is. And so she's done this demi-documentary to discover exactly that.

Filming herself asking other people what love is, she traverses the country accompanied by her director, Nicholas Jasenovec. He's also in the documentary. But he's played by someone else (Jake Johnson). Along the way, they bump into Michael Cera. He does play himself. As romance starts to blossom between Charlyne and Michael, they get irritated by the cameras capturing every moment of their courtship. But still they persevere, continuing to film the non-fictional piece of possible fiction. Got the plot yet?

Thanks to its charming leading lady, Paper Heart unfolds with a cute, ironic air. She even uses little paper models to tell short stories about the couples they encounter - a beautiful touch, adding charm and wit to an already original idea. When Michael first meets our film-maker, he asks what the project is about. "Oh, so it's quirky? Like a quirky comedy? That's just what the world needs..." he quips in his quirky, comic way. Inhabiting his own persona, Cera certainly seems genuine, as does Charlyne. But as truth and storytelling swirl together, Paper Heart becomes a little too hard to pin down. The result is awkward and adorable - like any real first romance.


Unique and unusual, Paper Heart is a whirlwind of feelings, film-making and mini cardboard people. You'll either love it, or want to tear it apart.

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