Saturday, December 12, 2009

Under 250: Paper Heart

If nothing else, Charlyne Yi's pseudo-documentary Paper Heart is the most unique romantic comedy to come along in awhile. Blending real interviews with random folks from rural America with Gondry-esque paper doll animations and an absurdly charming tale of an awkward, oddball cynic looking for love (Yi herself), Paper Heart is cute but never cloying, and what's more (though parts of it are indeed acted) it's honest in a way Hollywood can't quite seem to pin down. Yi navigates through the ins and outs of what love is, and why she believes, firmly, that she will never find it. Yet, Yi is fun and peppy in spite of her negative outlook. She jokes and says things that make her into a real life girl next door, friendly and just a little bit naive. Watching it, i found myself recognizing pieces of myself and friends from over the years, knowing where she's coming from and wanting her (even if it's just a hoax) to succeed. Yi is mapping out a definition in a way that's as twee as it is profoundly clever: asking divorcees, scientists, elderly married couples, and lawyers for their views and experiences with this thing called love. The stories are engaging and the people leave you with a dumb grin sneaking onto your face. That grin only widens as Yi and Cera find themselves falling into geeky courtship sweet enough to rot out your molars. A lo-fi charmer and a solid exercise in mockumentary filmmaking, Paper Heart is well worth the watch.

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