Paper Heart DVD review

Juno-esque romantic comedy with Michael Cera and Charlyne Yi

3/5
Dir Nicholas Jasenovec US (15+)

Geeky comedian and actress Charlyne Yi (best known for a supporting role in Knocked Up) doesn’t believe in love. So she sets out to make a documentary asking ordinary folk – from elderly couples to school kids – what love means to them, illustrating their stories with home-made cardboard puppets to a Juno-esque anti-folk soundtrack. But Yi’s cynicism takes a bashing when, while filming at a party, she meets and falls for geek heartthrob Michael Cera.

As the two start dating, the film begins to focus on their relationship. But are they really a couple? Is this really a documentary? The fact that Yi and co-writer/director Nicholas Jasenovec won a screenwriting award at Sundance suggests not. Yet it works on both levels. On the surface, this is a serviceable cutesy romcom. The segments featuring real people are genuinely affecting, but the realisation that everything else is probably being acted – that truth may be polluted by hoax – gives this film a sly, subversive edge.
Sarah Cohen

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