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Nick Jasenovec are scouting for ideas,
Charlyne meets Michael Cera (of Arrested
Development and Juno fame) at a party.
The meeting is not auspicious. In fact,
she looks like she can't wait to get away
from him. But Cera persists and finally
Yi agrees to "eat and see a movie" or as
the director says, "go on a date". The
relationship is uncomfortable at the start,
and continues that way, not because
the two don't get on, but because the
audience begins to feel the camera is
actually going to destroy the relationship
because it is so intrusive. The director,
who purports to be Yi's friend, is unwilling
to back off from filming, even after it
becomes obvious that Cera and Yi are
sick of it.
So the interviews with the average
American run parallel to the "romance"
between Yi and Cera and in between are
some amazing paper puppets created by
Yi and her father to animate the stories
from the subjects.
Even though you know that Jasenovec
and Yi have actually fabricated the
romance between Cera and Yi, it is easy to
be sucked into the fiction. Cera brings his
clumsy charm, so adored in his previous
outings, and tones it down just enough
to keep you believing that this is a real
romance, and Yi is talented enough for
you to buy into the whole thing. Obviously,
Jasenovec didn't think he would be
believable on film, so actor Jake Johnson
plays him in the film. Johnson brings just
the right amount of pushy and perverse
to the on-camera directorial role, while
Jasenovec proves himself a dab hand at
directing a fresh piece of cinema.
FILMS BY MARY O'DONOVAN
★★★★★ so good ★★★★ really good ★★★ pretty good ★★ not so good ★ no good
The two films reviewed this month have
something in common. Both of them
have an element of reality about them, but
both of them are constructs. Paper Heart
may appear more like a documentary
than Looking For Eric, but both are
fictional films. Having said that, as everyone
is aware, documentaries are as much
constructs of a point of view as any fiction
and the more adamantly a documentary
maker asserts the truth of the "facts"
as presented, the more suspicious an
audience should be of the film's agenda.
Paper Heart is an engaging piece
from US comedienne Charlyne Yi
following her journey across the US
telling people she doesn't believe in
love and everyone trying their darndest
to convince her otherwise, or at least
convince her that she is lovable. Everyone
from Elvis' ministers in Las Vegas to bikers
in a bar give her their versions of love, but
Yi remains stonily unconvinced that love
as described will ever be hers.
While she and director and friend
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