Paper Heart

Damn you, Charlyne Yi, for thinking of the idea of this movie before I did! You exceeded my expectations, you charmed me, and you got to awkwardly make out with Michael Cera on screen. Life is good for you.

“Reality” is actually quite blurred in this film. It’s a documentary but it’s not, it’s a love story but it’s not, there are whimsical diorama-style reenactments, there are all kinds of celebrity cameos, and there are what seem like actual people being interviewed about love. It’s all about love, in fact, which is the saddest part of the movie. Yi travels the country in search for what it means to be in love, trying to convince herself that it actually exists, and it’s sort of heartbreaking to realize that, despite her cheery facade, she’s actually really cold inside. I certainly hope that’s not how she really is. But anyway, she interviews people in all stages of love, like divorce and honeymoon and life partnerships, and by the end she supposedly falls in love with Michael Cera (who wouldn’t?) but I do think she ultimately ends up a tragic figure.

I do think it’s brave of her to put herself out there like this, even if it was fiction. Confronting people about love is incredibly difficult and invasive and tiresome, and it makes you think about it all the time and consume yourself with a very deep, emotionally staggering topic. And that’s what she did while filming this movie. Even if it was a character, it was a character by her same name dating her same boyfriend. The line is obviously blurred for a reason.

This movie isn’t so much funny as it is hilarious and well-made. The documentary feel isn’t pretentious. It’s just gritty and low-budget. Plus, it’s cute watching a couple court on-screen who is actually aware of the camera. Have you ever thought about that? Most of the movies you watch involve couples dating with a camera there, but they’re portrayed by actors who are supposed to pretend that the camera doesn’t exist. Not the case with Charlyne and Michael. They did everything in front of the cameras because that’s what they knew.

This movie was a pleasantly deep surprise. Highly recommended, no mater what state of love you’re in (or not in).

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