Director: Nicholas Jasenovec
Cast: Charlyne Yi, Michael Cera, Jake Johnson
Watch Paper Heart online in the UK: Amazon Prime
Paper Heart is a hard film to figure out. Then again, that’s only fitting for a film about a stand-up comedienne, actress and all-round loveable wacko trying to work out what on earth love is. Filming herself asking other people about the elusive emotion, Charlyne Yi traverses the country accompanied by her director, Nicholas Jasenovec. He’s also in the documentary. But he’s played by someone else (Jake Johnson).
Along the way, they bump into Michael Cera. He plays himself. As romance starts to blossom between Charlyne and Michael, they get irritated by the cameras capturing every moment of their courtship. But still they persevere, continuing to film the factual piece of possible fiction. Got the plot yet?
Thanks to its charming leading lady, this demi-documentary unfolds with a cute, ironic air. She even uses little paper models to tell short stories about the couples they encounter – a beautiful touch, adding originality and wit to an already original idea. When Michael first meets our film-maker, he asks what the project is about. “Oh, so it’s quirky? Like a quirky comedy? That’s just what the world needs…” he quips in his quirky, comic way. Inhabiting his own persona, Cera certainly seems genuine, as does Charlyne. But as truth and storytelling swirl together, Paper Heart becomes a little too hard to pin down. The result is awkward and adorable – fittingly, like any first romance.
Paper Heart is available to watch online on Amazon Prime Video as part of a £5.99 monthly subscription.