Paper Heart Is Beguiling, Enigmatic

'Quasi-documentary' blends fact, fiction
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Aug 7, 2009 3:02 PM CDT
In this film publicity image released by Overture Films, Michael Cera, second right, and Charlyne Yi, right, are shown in a scene from "Paper Heart."    (AP Photo/Overture Films, Justina Mintz)
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(Newser) – One's enjoyment of Paper Heart, a hard-to-pin-down fictional love story wrapped inside a real-life documentary about love, “will hinge almost entirely” on how the viewer feels about writer and star Charlyne Yi, writes Jeannette Catsoulis in the New York Times. Yi and co-star Michael Cera have been linked romantically in real life. Reviews are mixed:

  • “Enjoying this wondrous wisp of a something is easy, describing it is hard,” writes Peter Travers in Rolling Stone. “Luckily, Charlyne Yi is an enchantress. I'd follow her anywhere.”

  • The film is “sweet, true, and perhaps a little deceptive,” writes Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times, calling it “a very well-made film indeed.” Yi and Cera “ have such enveloping personas that little they do is quite acting.”
  • But Catsoulis finds that the actors’ “ extreme lack of sophistication is faintly disturbing,” she notes in the Times. Theirs is “an attachment so tentative and pathologically gawky that it’s almost painful to watch.”