Michael Cera is a lovely little specimen of a human being, isn't he? True, he plays exactly the same character in every film (himself), but he is undeniably quite adorable. Actually though, my mother is completely flummoxed by his appeal, but she thinks that Owen Wilson is a hot piece of ass, so she can be quiet. Alas, I digress. A fellow admirer of Cera's work (read: sweet little face), my good pal Jess recommended 'Paper Heart' to me. Since her film taste is pretty much spot-on, when the opportunity arose for me to see it I thought, yes, why not!
The 'mockumentary' follows the comedienne Charlyne Yi, a lovably awkward lady who has never been in (and doesn't believe in) love, as she goes on a road trip around America to try to better understand the concept of romance. Along her way, she interviews various love 'experts', ranging from the logical (divorcees, newlyweds, therapists) to somewhat unusual choices (such as children in a playground and Las Vegas wedding chapel workers).
Have you seen 'When Harry Met Sally'? If not, ignore me for a few seconds. If you have, you know those little interview snippets where it features old people recounting how they met? Well, this film features lots of them, accompanied by lovely, surreal, Science Of Sleep style animations (except not as good - think more pipe cleaners and bits of fluff, less Gael Garcia Bernal).
The plot thickens when Charlyne meets a certain Mr Cera at a party, and he is instantly rather smitten. Nudged along by their mutual friends (the directors and camera men), the pair keep 'bumping into' each other wherever they go, until they decide to start making formal arrangements..... all the while being under the watchful eye of the camera. Despite being two perfect peas in a pod, the whole every-move-on-camera scenario starts to put a strain on their budding relationship, and things turn from golden to shit. It certainly tugs on the ol' heart strings when you see Charlyne's little face crumple, and you are bound to spend the rest of the film with your fingers and toes crossed so that they get back together. I, ahem, won't say what does happen in case you watch it for yourself, but I think it's bloody obvious.
I just want to quickly clarify: this film isn't amazing, per se. You hopefully won't make your dying words 'My life would've been great, if only I'd watched Paper Heart.', because if you were planning on it, you're a slightly unhinged individual. The only films worth mentioning on your deathbed are classics like The Graduate, and even then, haven't you got anything better to say? Anyway. Not a lot actually happens in this film, and if you are a suave, heart-on-your-sleeve individual it may frustrate you into shouting at the screen. But if you are more of a bumbling 'n' blushing sort, you will quite likely appreciate those awkward, sweet little moments captured perfectly on screen.