Paper Heart

paperheart2

With a friend’s camera watching, comedian Charlyne Yi, playing herself, isn’t sure she understands or even believes in romantic love, so she wanders around the country asking folks about it. Meanwhile Michael Cera, playing himself, becomes romantically involved with her and increasingly dispirited by the friend’s camera watching. OK, it’s not like young people invading their own privacy is a novel concept; Paper Heart is paper thin, a temporarily fascinating amalgamation of timidity and narcissism with just enough cutesy indie cred to transcend its rote reality-TV trappings (although that’s also why it surely will annoy people). But the customary Cera blend of cheeky irony and ungainly sincerity is a natural foil for the adorable and self-consciously ingratiating Yi, who co-wrote with director Nicholas Jasenovec (played not by himself but by Jake Johnson). Yi and Cera’s romance is true enough, and sits well enough among the sweet, unguarded love stories she collects from the folks. Three stars out of five may seem generous, but so is the movie.

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