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Customer Review

HALL OF FAME
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 24 August 2010
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This movie is filmed as if it is a proper documentary of stand-up comic Charlyne Li's search for love, both as to the meaning of human love and whether Charlyne herself to will ever find 'true love'. All the interviews with her friends and people she meets while filming seem quite genuine and I'm sure it's her real parents who we meet at the beginning [if it's not, at least they are very convincing]. Apparently Charlyne doesn't believe in 'love' or at least the Hollywood mythology of love. It seems she 'loves' her parents, so we have to assume her quest is more about love and marriage, i.e. finding a man, falling in love, and forming a life-long partnership. Most of the males Charlyne meets seem a bit ordinary and not especially good looking [as they mostly have beards or are older than her]. Then enter the young and rather dishy Michael Cera [aged 21] - reprising his subdued 'Juno' role rather than the ultra-cool 'Scott Pilgrim [VS the world]'. Giving the alternatives it's perhaps not surprising that Charlyne takes to shine to Michael and a slightly contrived romance develops under the eye of the 'documentary' camera team. Michael and Charlyne meet up and chat between scenes of interviews relating to the search for love. Michael and Charlynes developing relationship appears a bit, well junevile really as the premise of the film is 'first love' and it's associated angst, which is more associated with younger teenagers. Fortunately you could imagine Charlyne and Michael are 16 year old star-crossed lovers if you squint a bit.

The rather separate interviews discussing the nature of love and relationships are with various individuals Charlyne meets when wandering about America. Many are 'friends', while others are guys or even kids she seems to meet when filming. These interspersed interview scenes are quite good [a bit 'Louis Theroux'esque even] and are the best part of the movie. That's not because Michael and Charlyne give poor performances in their romantic interludes, it's just that their 'falling in love' scenes seem a bit contrived and false. Worse still, their scenes are a quite intense and relatively devoid of the humour that often lights up the interview scenes. Fortunately Michael and Charlyne come across as quite well [you kinda have to like them] and some of the cut-out puppet scenes used instead of live performances are fairly interesting in a Sound of Music 'Lonely goat-herd' sort of way. The final scenes have a bit of a philosophical slant, although if you want anything more profound you'd be better off watching the recent kid's cartoon series: 'The legend of Aang: The Last Air-Bender', which incidentally my teenage kids and I rate 6*.

After 45 minutes or so into the film, I did actually get a little bored and skipped through to the end to see what happened. I then skipped backwards through the movie to watch the bits I had missed - to be honest it really doesn't matter if you do that as much of the movie is made up of a sequence of stand-alone interview scenes and it's not a melodrama, just a gentle tale of two nice young people falling in love. Not quite sure why the movies rated 15, there's no unpleasantness at all, although I suppose it's unlikely any 10 year old lad would last 5 minutes watching it. The movie comes across as though it was made by a couple of gifted undergraduates. I'm afraid I rate it just 3* [i.e. C+ for effort] - it's certainly not rubbish though. And it could be said that at the heart of this film [and 'Juno'] is the idea that sparked off Michael Cera's startlingly good new movie 'Scott Pilgrim vs the World' - and if that is the case, we should be grateful to Charlyne Li for taking the time to make 'Paper Heart'. Also check out Michael Cera in the superb & similarly themed movies '
Juno [DVD] [2007 ]' and ' Scott Pilgrim vs. The World [DVD ]', movies that my teenage kids and I enjoyed far more than Paper Heart.
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