Paper Hearts will probably be one of the breakout films of this year’s Sundance Festival. And rightly so. It hits all the right notes, without pushing the boundaries of violence, sex or language. In fact, this will probably be rated PG. After 2007′s Little Miss Sunshine, and The Illusionist, and Paper Heart from this year, perhaps Sundance’s reputation as an excessive, indulgent and dark festival will improve.
Nicholas Jasenovec directs this sophomore effort that he co-wrote with lead Charlyne Yi (30 Rock, Knocked Up), who plays herself. Charlyne plays the host of a documentary (the film takes the form of The Office, except the filming crew plays a larger part. Charlyne doesn’t believe in love, so she and fellow documentarians travel the states interviewing people about love. It’s at a party in L.A. that she meets Michael Cera (Michael Cera). The two start an awkward relationship that soon becomes the center of the film they’re filming. Yes, it’s a litle confusing. Especially since Cera and Yi are dating (and were dating before filming started).
Cera is hilarious in his dead-pan humor, and his performance is one of his funniest. If you remember Charlyne Yi from Knocked Up, you’ll remember her being a little odd. She is, and it’s a little aggravating to watch her sometimes, but other times, she manages to shine. The experimental format, mixing the improv interactions between Cera and Yi (who are constantly addressing the camera), and real life interviews with people in love keeps a perfect tone of sweetness, without moving over into romantic comedy territory. Although it’s my opinion that the movie could not have ended any better, it may cause problemmatic for those that need everything wrapped up in a bow for them to take home. When you get the chance, and I’m sure you will, give Paper Hearts a chance.
Click here for clips of the movie.