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Paper Man (2009)

tomatometer

23

Average Rating: 4.2/10
Critic Reviews: 13
Fresh: 3 | Rotten: 10

No consensus yet.

audience

49

liked it
Average Rating: 3.2/5
User Ratings: 3,137

My Rating

Movie Info

Jeff Daniels, Emma Stone, Ryan Reynolds, and Lisa Kudrow headline co-writer/directors Michele and Kieran Mulroney's affectionate comedy drama detailing the unlikely friendship between a failed writer (Daniels) and the Long Island high school girl (Stone) who teaches him what it really means to take responsibility in life. Meanwhile, the author's long-suffering wife casts a disapproving gaze, and an imaginary superhero weighs in with his own take on the unusual bond. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi

R,

Drama, Comedy

,

Michele Mulroney, Kieran Mulroney

Jan 18, 2011

MPI Media Group - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (29) | Top Critics (13) | Fresh (9) | Rotten (20) | DVD (4)

Aided by subtly wounded performances by Daniels and Stone, and a surprisingly affecting comic turn from Reynolds, Paper Man makes up for many of its shortcomings with an abundance of heart.

July 18, 2010 Full Review Source: NPR
NPR
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The manipulations characters act out with each other are realistic, even if the overlong and not-nearly-twee-enough comedy built around them isn't, making for a movie whose script may have had more merit than its execution. Or not.

June 30, 2010 Full Review Source: Orlando Sentinel
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A big Twinkie stuffed with indie-film cliches and glazed with chiming emo guitars.

May 28, 2010 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

What we have in this film is a whole lot of nothing, and the little that's there is irritating.

May 20, 2010 Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

We don't even get a real sense of what kind of writer Richard is, or even if he's any good. It does make a difference, after all, if the novel he can't write is worth writing. A bigger question: Was "Paper Man" worth making?

May 7, 2010 Full Review Source: Christian Science Monitor
Christian Science Monitor
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Ignore the story of Paper Heart ... Concentrate instead on the delightful performances.

April 28, 2010 Full Review Source: Entertainment Weekly | Comments (2)
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Primarily charming and peculiarly funny, but dribbles on during the final portion of the film.

August 14, 2010 Full Review Source: CinemaBlend.com
CinemaBlend.com

A flimsy character study...as ephemeral and forgettable as a sheet of paper carried off by a gust of wind.

May 5, 2010 Full Review Source: One Guy's Opinion
One Guy's Opinion

We're subjected to so much arbitrary quirkiness that the characters' big breakthroughs and breakdowns ring false, accidentally making for some of the film's biggest laughs.

April 25, 2010 Full Review Source: Cinematical | Comment (1)
Cinematical

It's tough to watch such a glum progression through the familiar, with bits of quirk dissected and bandied about.

April 24, 2010 Full Review Source: Film School Rejects
Film School Rejects

Jeff Daniels' issues are self-indulgent. But to him, his writer's block and insubstantial life are epic, and the film sides with him more often than not.

April 23, 2010 Full Review Source: I.E. Weekly | Comment (1)
I.E. Weekly

Too introverted and gimmicky for its own good.

April 23, 2010 Full Review Source: Boxoffice Magazine
Boxoffice Magazine

Are we supposed to look upon a guy who comes on to young girls and plies kids with alcohol as some sort of blithe free spirit?

April 23, 2010 Full Review Source: MTV | Comments (3)

Emma Stone gives a tour de force over fine performances by Daniels, Kudrow, and Reynolds.

April 22, 2010 Full Review Source: tonymedley.com

Love, Long Island style!

April 22, 2010 Full Review Source: Sly Fox
Sly Fox

First-time husband-and-wife writers-directors Kieran and Michele Mulroney mine rich thematic territory with sharp literary language and keen, if modest, visuals.

April 22, 2010 Full Review Source: Moving Pictures Magazine
Moving Pictures Magazine

Audience Reviews for Paper Man

A novelist with writers block, a failing marriage, and a superhero imaginary friend retreats to Montauk where meets a girl with her own issues.
This is probably the best performance of Jeff Daniels's career as he is able to handle the broadly comic moments with Ryan Reynolds as his imaginary friend and the truly heavy moments with his estranged wife and the babysitter, played by Emma Stone, who doesn't have a baby to sit. He's funny when he needs to be, and his crying scenes come from a real, wounded place.
The film is mostly senseless. By the end, we don't have any idea why these characters have retreated to a land with imaginary companions or what they really gain out of these relationships. The conflicts, namely Richard's argument with his wife, resolve themselves seemingly through magic and a half-hearted, unspecific apology.
Overall, it's lame storytelling by the end, but there are some good moments in the first and second acts, and Daniels has never been better ... except for maybe The Squid and the Whale.
July 9, 2012
hunterjt13
Jim Hunter

Super Reviewer

A little imagination goes a long way

This is fantastic indie movie and a strong directorial/writing debut for Kieran and Michele Mulroney. The casting is interesting and diverse adding in the likes of Emma Stone, Ryan Reynolds, and Kieran Culkin. Each actor turns in their roles well for what they're meant to be. And I must say the film explores many intriguing concepts of one's mind, suggesting also how two people can be so different in age and still relate to how the other is feeling. It is heartfelt and very sentimental. The friendship between Daniels and Stone is sweet and quite emotionally driven. The roles of Reynolds and Culkin add another level to the movie's superiority because they change the film from being "your everyday drama among friends and family" to a individualistic adventure for one's identity in the cruel place that is the world. Overall, there are some flaws in this movie, but its strengths make it a good watch for a film no doubt made on a small budget. It is definitely a drama but when comedy is introduced, it generally hits the mark.

A coming-of-middle-age comedy that chronicles the unlikely friendship between failed author Richard Dunne and a Long Island teen who teaches him a thing or two about growing up, all under the disapproving eye of his long-suffering wife and his imaginary Superhero friend.
May 8, 2012
MANUGINO
Manu Gino

Super Reviewer

I was looking forward to seeing this movie, but I was rather disappointed. For whatever reason, the last half hour of this movie was much more enthralling than the rest of the film. A quirky indie film that could have used a little more quirk, or substance, or something that I can't quite put my finger on. Randomly funny at times, and I thought Emma Stone's character had the most to offer throughout all of it.
February 6, 2012
itsjustme2004

Super Reviewer

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