Movie Review: Paper Heart

18 April 2015

"Has anyone been in love?"
"Have you ever been in love?"
Associate Biology Professor Matthew Craig said, "I'd also want to be careful not to get so scientific about it that we forget about just the pure joy of the mystical aspects of love. There's something there that may be evolutionary mechanisms, and there's certainly about chemical mechanisms, but somehow, there's a little bit of magic to it, too."

Books and movies are two of my most favorite things in the world but I've been having a problem consuming them lately because I end up being consumed by them. I've always found myself empathizing with the fictional characters a lot but this started to prove to be a problem for me because I end up investing too many feelings. This also happens when I talk to friends about their personal issues. Wanting to be a sounding board, I become a sponge and absorb everything, resulting to myself getting emotionally (and sometimes even physically) drained easily. It's good for the story I'm writing, but I'm not sure if it's good for my general well-being. These days, the only things I can manage are bite-sized chunks of fiction, like the Kikomachine Komix and episodes of Will & Grace and Survivor. Actually, scratch Survivor off the equation because my favorite Joe has already been voted out and there is no else left to root for. 

Anyway, as per my friend Ed's recommendation, I watched Paper Heart today because I needed to put my mind off some things, and I loved it.

Okay, I didn't love love it, but I was charmed by it.

Paper Heart follows Charlyne (Charlyne Yi) as she embarks on a quest across America to make a documentary about a subject she does not understand: love. She and her good friend (and director) Nick (Jake Johnson) search for answers and advice about love by talking to friends, strangers, married couples, chemists, romance novelists, divorce attorneys, and even children. They each offer diverse views on modern romance, as well as various answers to the age-old question: does true love really exist? While filming, Charlyne meets Michael (Michael Cera), an awkward boy who may well be the answer to Charlyne's question. It's a quirky film with quirky characters, matched with quirky puppets and animations that match the tone of the movie.

Michael Cera and Charlyne Yi are sooo adorable that it's easy to believe this is not a movie but a real documentary. I am a fan of movies that don't need fizz, bang, and pop to make an impact, and simple in its premise as it is, Paper Heart charmed me right out of my socks. It's forgettable, yes, but it's fluffy and sweet and was exactly the antidote I needed.

I also liked the title. I actually considered it as a possible name for my future stationery brand but Ed said it's the title of a movie, leading to him telling me to see it.

"Has anyone been in love?"
"Have you ever been in love?"
As one of the old married couples in the movie said, "Wait for the lightning bolt."

1 comment

  1. I remember getting into a seemingly never-ending argument with college friends as to whether everything that happened in the movie was real or not. I kept stressing "mockumentary" but everyone else kept arguing it was real! Haha guess that shows how catchy their chemistry is.


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