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Coming Soon

—— No Good Deed Sep 12
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Premieres Tonight

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New Episodes Tonight

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—— Unforgettable: Season 2

Paper Heart (2009)



Average Rating: 5.7/10
Reviews Counted: 108
Fresh: 62 | Rotten: 46

Equal parts charming and refreshing, Paper Heart is a quirky mockumentary led by the endearing Charlyne Yi.


Average Rating: 5.2/10
Critic Reviews: 32
Fresh: 15 | Rotten: 17

Equal parts charming and refreshing, Paper Heart is a quirky mockumentary led by the endearing Charlyne Yi.



liked it
Average Rating: 3/5
User Ratings: 44,632

My Rating

Movie Info

Real-life sweethearts Michael Cera and Charlyne Yi star in a fictionalized version of their romance in this indie semi-documentary comedy, written by Yi. Playing themselves, Yi and Cera embark on a scripted version of their own story. In the movie, Yi has agreed to be the subject of a documentary about her quest to discover if love really exists, since she's never experienced it. As part of her participation in the project, she has a film crew follow her around throughout every new development



Nicholas Jasenovec, Charlyne Yi

Dec 1, 2009


Overture Films

Watch It Now


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All Critics (111) | Top Critics (33) | Fresh (62) | Rotten (46) | DVD (8)

The segments featuring real people are genuinely affecting, but the realisation that everything else is probably being acted - that truth may be polluted by hoax - gives this otherwise lightweight film a sly, subversive edge.

November 6, 2009 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

[An] unbearably twee mockumentary about the meaning of love.

August 20, 2009 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Paper Heart gets by on easygoing charm, rather like Yi herself, whose low-fi comedy is built upon us rooting for her, perhaps hoping that surely there's more magnetism to her than this.

August 19, 2009 Full Review Source: Orlando Sentinel
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Cute? If you say so. Funny? If I had a nickel for every time I laughed, I'd have a dime.

August 13, 2009 Full Review Source: Miami Herald | Comment (1)
Miami Herald
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This movie may be sickly sweet, but it's harmless; and as a handcrafted antidote to a toxic toy story like G.I.Joe, Paper Heart has healing properties.

August 13, 2009 Full Review Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's easy to see how this quirky, offbeat approach could seem refreshing within the rarefied, hermetic atmosphere of a festival. Elsewhere, however, it comes across as amateurish and considerably less charming.

August 11, 2009 Full Review Source: ReelViews
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Twee mockumentary bestills love-seeking hipster hearts.

August 15, 2011 Full Review Source: Film Journal International
Film Journal International

Paper Heart doesn't unearth the meaning of 'love' (spoiler alert?) but it at least shows us how real human beings deal with all those confusing emotions that might equal something close to it.

October 27, 2010 Full Review Source: Quickflix

Ultimately, one doubts that even the parts that seemed real are real, and the entire house-of-cards comes tumbling down.

August 9, 2010 Full Review Source:

Determining the exact level of artifice never stops being distracting, and the emotional climax is far from earned.

June 9, 2010 Full Review Source:

There are so many things about the film that could have been annoying (...) but the story is so refreshing and honest that it would be almost impossible to find anything annoying here.

April 15, 2010 Full Review Source: Fan The Fire
Fan The Fire

Yi's worldview is best represented by a song she writes for Cera, a Weezer-esque bit of nerd rock called You Smell Like Christmas. At first the song is irritating, but it sticks in your head and just like Paper Heart, the song is annoyingly hummable.

December 25, 2009 Full Review Source:

It's not the worst cutesy, lo-fi love story you'll ever see, but it's shown up by all those genuine true-life tales. Alongside them, its falseness is too glaring.

November 13, 2009 Full Review Source: Sunday Times (UK)
Sunday Times (UK)

An extremely irritating, narcissistic picture.

November 13, 2009 Full Review Source: Observer [UK] | Comments (3)
Observer [UK]

Whimsical, solipsistic and self-indulgent, Paper Heart represents everything that is wrong with American independent cinema.

November 6, 2009 Full Review Source: Times [UK]
Times [UK]

A world-beatingly annoying and pointless "docu-romcom".

November 6, 2009 Full Review Source: Guardian

The movie's winsome artificiality may drive you bananas.

November 6, 2009 Full Review Source: Daily Telegraph
Daily Telegraph

Like Yi herself, the film may seem at times rather nave in its outlook, but it's also honest and entertaining.

November 6, 2009
Little White Lies

Where Paper Heart does shine, however, is in the reflections of the general public and few will fail to be moved by their truly inspiring and heartwarming stories of true love.

November 6, 2009 Full Review Source: Digital Spy
Digital Spy

Yi is a unique tour guide, her deadpan demeanour, embarrassed giggle and horn-rimmed specs generating non-starry appeal.

November 6, 2009 Full Review Source: Total Film
Total Film

An over-arching smugness blights this comic investigation into true love.

November 6, 2009 Full Review Source: Radio Times
Radio Times

Some viewers have found this film adorable but its quirky cuteness was lost on me.

November 6, 2009 Full Review Source: Daily Express
Daily Express

Either you will find this cheaply made American independent docudrama charming or faintly irritating.

November 6, 2009 Full Review Source: This is London
This is London

The film becomes more bewitching the more it loses direction. Yi stops questioning strangers and starts questioning herself. She also interrogates the ability, or inability, of cinema to follow love into its deepest mazes.

November 6, 2009 Full Review Source: Financial Times
Financial Times

This indie squib wobbles briefly on a tightrope between sincerity and cuteness before plunging headlong to a death-by-whimsy.

November 6, 2009 Full Review Source: Independent

Audience Reviews for Paper Heart

A story about love that's taking on a life of its own.

Average movie that needed a better ending!"Paper Heart" doesn't have any real direction, but neither does life. Are Charlyne and Michael made for each other? What if their relationship doesn't last? It's something the filmmakers just have to work with. From what I got, there's no defining message about what love is, other than it's to each his own. Overall, a cute and lovable movie. The ending is unsatisfactory, but that's because there is no end that would fit the story and remain truthful to real life.

Charlyne Yi embarks on a quest across America to make a documentary about the one subject she doesn't fully understand: Love. Michael Cera becomes the object of her affection. Weaving together reality and fantasy, Paper Heart combines elements of documentary and traditional storytelling to get at modern romance.
July 30, 2012
Manu Gino

Super Reviewer

"A story about love that's taking on a life of it's own."

Paper Heart is an odd and extremely off beat fake documentary. What's more odd then the film is the fact that I actually liked it. Not a lot, but I did enjoy it for the most part. On another note, I don't think I could come up with a couple that is more perfect for each other then Charleyne Yi and Michael Cera. Both of whom are the definition of awkward.

The movie really relies on if you can take Yi's brand of humor or not. Most can't, I however, am a fan of the awkward, it's so not funny it's funny comedy style Yi employs. The movie centers around Yi not believing in love. She meets Michael Cera and likes him, but she still doesn't believe in love. Although I did like the movie, it does over stay it's welcome. But it is a short little movie; clocking in at about an hour twenty. We see familiar faces like Seth Rogen and Demetri Martin for little cameos.

The only thing that really got old was all the old couples that have interview. I can understand a few, but it seems like overkill. They all say basically the same thing. If they would have cut one or two of them out, I would have liked Paper Heart a lot more. The runtime would have came in at like an hour and five to ten minutes, but that probably would have helped the movie a little too. As it is though, I still enjoyed it for it's awkwardness. I would never recommend it to anyone though because I do understand that the majority would not like this movie at all.
July 28, 2011
Melvin White

Super Reviewer

Oh my god, I'm usually not that shallow, but Charlyne Yi is so unattractive and awkward I literally could not watch for any longer. Girlfriend best not act ever again. Also this movie: way way too annoying and self-aware, even for hipsters.
May 29, 2011

Super Reviewer

Really short, has it's moments of quirk and few laughs here and there, but the lead (Charlyne Yi, who I like in small doses as evident in KNOCKED UP) really get's on my nerves and wears out her welcome. The film unfortunately did too.
May 9, 2011

Super Reviewer

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