June 24, 2010

22.06: Paperheart

It’s interesting watching this documentary from Charlyne Yi less than a week after Banksy’s Exit Through the Gift Shop. This is because, as much as the film is a documentary – with Yi interviewing various couples across America about love – there is also a bit of fakery going on.

It’s all about Yi and her search for the meaning of love; she says she’s never felt love and doesn’t know if she can. So, she sets out across the States (with director and camera crew in tow) and interviews people who have had various experiences of love. This includes a divorcee, biology professors, old married couples, bikers, Las Vegas chaplains and more. Yi herself is shy, giggly, awkward and a little tomboyish and the rapport she shares with director Nicholas Jasenovec (played by Jake M. Johnson, though the film is directed by Jasenovec) is perfect. And yes, you read that right. The director seen on screen is played by an actor. And the unfolding relationship Yi has with Michael Cera is also “fake”. Although, the two of them were going out at the time (I have no idea if they currently are and absolutely no inclination to find out). So there’s an interesting, and playful, tension between real and imagined; between love, as it is defined in films, and love as it is out in the world.

Can it all be a little too twee and “quirky” at times? Possibly. But that’s what I loved about it. It’s also a sweet, intimate film that covers quite a lot of ground in its running time. There's laughter, sadness, awkwardness, disappointment and discovery. Just like love.

1 comment:

  1. Really want to see this. I am seeing Charlyne Yi in a few weeks in the Comedy Fest!