Film A Week 30: Paper Heart (2009)

Readers, what is love?

Okay, besides the obvious obligatory Haddaway reference, love is a powerful force of nature. It is one that drives our emotions to proceed to pursue the chase that is finding someone to be by your side, support your every move and appreciate every flaw that you have. Yet, a few of us do not know exactly what it is unless you are Nat King Cole. One young actress attempts to find the answer in the indie darling of 2009, Paper Heart.


Paper Heart is a mockumentary that explores the answer if the adorable and quirky Charlene Yi will ever find love and experience it. Along her travels and conversing with a bevy of people who have experienced it, she comes across Scott Pilgrim himself, Michael Cera, at a party. Michael, seeing Charlene is in dire need of romance, comes to the aid by being the most adorkable son of a bitch ever produced on film.

With Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker in a close second

When Charlene approaches couples to talk about their experiences, it is told in cardboard and paper cutouts in a charming way with the more fantastical meeting of romance being told through a childlike imagination. To be honest, that is pretty much the whole film.

Paper Heart is basic filmmaking and a nice treat in between the other films that have been covered during this entire series. It does not have the over the top dramatics or productions, but it doesn’t need it in order to tell a simple story. The acting is natural and seems more in the mumble-core genre of films than the mockumentary genre. Charlene Yi is adorable as herself, as is Michael Cera, and their romance in the film seems genuine to the point where some fans did believe the two were together. If they weren’t, that is fine because the chemistry they have is already captured on film. Jake Johnson from New Girl appears as the director Nicolas Jasevoc, since the actual director stays behind camera. Johnson does a decent job as a support and does not feel forced.

The film is not one for those who hate the sugary sweet nature of romance or cynics, but for those whom embrace the true nature of romance. The best is that while grounded in reality, it shows the lovey dovey nature of affection. It does show what happens when time is spent apart from the person someone falls for and shows the loneliness that comes from not feeling romance. Paper Heart provides a slice of life that is a nice indie escape and nothing more, yet it does that just well.

Next week, Film A Week heads down to the border with the Sam Peckinpah classic, 1969’s The Wild Bunch to tagalong with William Holden and Ernest Borgnine for some classic Western thrills.

Film A Week 31: The Wild Bunch

Friday, August 9th


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