Paper Man - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Paper Man Reviews

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April 29, 2018
This movie was about finding independence and growing up also self love friendship and the struggle of creatives making something real, I appreciated how they didn't cheapen the movie with romance and grounded it without losing it's quirky charm. I went into it expecting very little but had very real realisations about my own friendships and romances and what was more important. I cannot praise this movie enough and whilst it won't be hitting many best of lists the performances are some of my favourites from all the actors and I have no problem giving it 5/5 I don't know what everyone else was watching but I really appreciate this movie and what it was trying to say. Perhaps its execution let it down but it aims like crystal fairy and super and it will stick with me for a long time easily my favourite emma stone movie perhaps Jeff Daniels too
April 20, 2018
This movie really touched my heart. I would watch this again! Beautiful story.
December 11, 2017
The story of Paper Man is one about growing up and coping with the responsibility of being an adult, no matter your age. A cold, Fall-ridden community in Long Island is borrowed to lend itself as a melancholic backdrop that induces all manner of hometown nostalgia. You feel like you can relate to the characters even if you can't because they remind you of people you knew or things you had to overcome in your own life.

Written and directed by a couple of the funny folk who tried to help resuscitate the Power Rangers in 2017 (Kieran Mulroney and Michele Mulroney), it's clear by a stark contrast in every aspect that Paper Man is an independent film. For one, there's no giant Megazord (unfortunately) and instead we get acoustic music, washed out lighting, a dramatic my-life-is-more-depressing-than-yours story-- wait, I knew I liked that reboot a little too much.. Regardless, they're all present in this film as well, just with a clearer, low-budget appeal. Don't get me wrong, I love me some indie tropes and they all play to the strengths of a movie like this.

Struggling novelist Richard Dunn, played by Jeff Daniels, can't seem to find the right place in his wife (Lisa Kudrow)'s life. She spends her days as a busy surgeon, while he fails to produce for his second book. They decide that maybe being near where his subject (the North American Heath Hen) once thrived, he might find better inspiration, prompting his move to a small coastal town. He promises he can get work done now and once she heads back to the city, leaving him to his solitude, Richard finds he can't cope with mundane life and begins to rely on his imaginary, superhero friend Captain Excellent (Ryan Reynolds), for support and advice. Against his (wife's) own better judgment.

Enter Abby, played by pre-Zombieland Emma Stone, one of the local kids with a traumatic past and a not-really-great-either present. Her story revolves around her guilt and how she feels like everything that's happened to her is her fault. Making her our, you guessed it: angsty-teenager-who-doesn't-care-what-anyone-thinks-or-what-happens-to-her character. The two eventually cross paths and spawn an awkward friendship, one that allows them to get things off their chest they wouldn't otherwise be able to alone. As the audience, we get to see that despite their difference in age, they have a lot they can relate and learn from one another.

I'm aware that others could see this movie as slow paced, non eventful, and boring; what with its quiet town, moody themes and dialogue-driven story ..and I would have to agree. But as I mentioned earlier, those are the film's strong points.

Everything should be moot and slow, I think the scenery is intended to be ignored because it's supposed to feel like you've already been there personally. It allows the pacing to rely on character development and not flashy eye-catches and effects. Character development that Daniels and Stone pull off unexpectedly well. Having seen Daniels in a variety of genres, I still find this stumbling procrastinator one of his most believable, while Stone brings a vulnerability that's convincing and realistic. Their friendship feels real and if either of them were replaced, I don't think it would continue to be one of my favorite movies.

If you go into Paper Man expecting a feel-good movie with a happy ending, you're probably in the wrong place. It knows it's limitations and what it can do well, and leaves an open ending like a friend moving away. You don't know where they'll go or what they'll experience, but you're hopeful they'll get their new beginnings. And maybe, just maybe if they come back they'll tell you all about it.

I can't recommend this to everybody because I know how uninteresting it sounds. But for a story about accepting yourself and your shortcomings (and for a movie with so many big names that only brought in $15,000), it's heavily underappreciated and at least worth a scrub through.
November 30, 2017
Fairly cliche indie film. The quirky, damaged characters seem kind of obvious and not much happens in the plot, other than a message about what it takes to grow up or move on. Still, it's entertaining and you should dig it enough if you like the cast.
August 7, 2017
non event movie nothing really happens
July 13, 2017
I really enjoyed this movie from start to finish. I thought the characters were great and all well acted. I LOVED Ryan Reynolds "Captain Excellent" character. Jeff Daniels so relatable to a person like myself so maybe that's why. Emma Stone does a great job as usual.
Oh and Kieran Caulkin deserves more roles.
"Is this a trial separation?"
Super Reviewer
½ July 12, 2017
I've never been a big superhero guy. I mean I've watched and enjoyed many superheroes and will, very likely, continue to. What I mean by that is that I didn't grew up reading comics. I remember back when I was 10, give or take a few years, I bought a couple of Nightwing comics, but that was really the extent of my comic experience. Now that I remember, I have the visual novel for both Watchmen and V For Vendetta. I bought those closer to the age I am now. Maybe that's my bad and maybe I've missed out on some really great comics, but there's so many series and superheroes that I just don't have the patience to keep up. This is relevant because the main character in the film, a writer, has an imaginary friend who's a superhero. Another aside, one of my friends has told me that I should write a book. I know what you must be thinking, but she's serious about this. I mean I've certainly thought about it, but I'm not confident enough in my own skills to actually write a book, much less actually sell it to someone if I do write one. I don't know why I went on that tangent, but it is what it is. You're not reading this review because you expect quality, damnit. Seriously though, another one of those 'life-changing friendship' movie that I've watched three of (including this one) in the last two weeks. Out of the three (Chu & Blossom, The Last Word and this one), I'd still say that Chu & Blossom was the best of the bunch. I just think it did a better job at capturing a stronger sense of friendship than the other two did. That's not to say that this film is bad by any stretch of the imagination. It's a perfectly decent movie about the budding friendship between a struggling writer and a high school student, both going through some dark moments while also battling their demons. Well, I mean, demons in that both have imaginary friends. One of the problems I had in the handling of these imaginary friends, who help both Richard and Abby cope with their past mistakes (particularly in Abby's case), is the fact that Abby's is handled so predictably. And perhaps predictably isn't even the right way to describe it. But they tease this thing that Christopher (Abby's imaginary friend) might actually be real. The problem comes in the that they're so obviously telegraphing it, that it's not really a surprise once Chris and Captain Excellent (Richard's imaginary friend) have a conversation, which is when they, obviously, reveal the fact that Chris isn't a real person. Perhaps they weren't even trying to tease that he was a real person, but it sure came across like it. So, yea, that didn't really work for me. The film hits the predictable story threads you would expect. Richard, struggling to write his second novel, is going through some rough times with his wife. And it's the same shit you've seen elsewhere. Richard hasn't really grown up. Not saying that he's a man-child, like you'd see Adam Sandler play, but he just hasn't been the best husband he could be, since he is stuck in his own mind and dealing with his own issues relating to his failed writing career and his imaginary friend holding him back. I find Abby's backstory to be more interesting, as her twin sister drowned as part of a dare Abby made. It's later revealed that they had a pact that they were both going to drown and her sister did, but Abby swam back. Perhaps it's a little dark for this type indie dramedy, but I found it to be one of its more compelling elements. The acting is strong, no surprise there. I love Emma Stone, so it's always great to see her. Jeff Daniels has always been very good. Ryan Reynolds is really underrated as an actor, so I can't really complain about the casting at all. What I can complain about is the scripting. Not that there's anything truly, inherently wrong with it. But I just found the whole friendship changing Richard and Abby for the better, to the point that they finally have no use for their imaginary friends, a little forceful and the ending quite sentimental. I don't know, part of me just really didn't feel it. This friendship, I believe, takes place over the course of three months, but the way the film is paced, it feels shorter than that. Now, you may ask yourself, how do you make a film that takes place over the span of three months, well it's certainly possible. I don't know how you do it, but I know it's possible. I think the fact that it takes place in this beach community. And I get that you needed this community in order to sell Richard's solitude in order to get him to focus on his writing. But there's something about this town, where it all feels like nothing is moving forward. Like they're stuck in time. Because of that, it doesn't feel like these Richard and Abby really know each other too well in order for their friendship to be as transformative as they tried to portray it. Maybe I'm being too picky and I'm just trying to find a reason to not like this movie, but I wouldn't do that. The movie is just missing a certain something that would have made it, to me, good. Because the acting is already very good, I just felt that the script was a little lacking in certain respects. They have these characters and, at least with Richard, they just do the bare minimum. He's struggling to write his second book and his marriage is on death's door, this is something we have seen before and it just didn't really do much for me here. This is decent enough, but I can't really give this a recommendation. The cast is great, but, outside of some interesting backstory on Abby, there's really not much to the characters. And for a film that's all about the characters and their relationships with one another, that's a big no-no. Decent enough, but there's nothing here that you need to see.
February 26, 2017
Started watching this but really odd and weird ...
January 31, 2017
I thought it was going to be a quirky little Indie movie. I hadn't heard of it in the 8 years it has been released. My expectations weren't high. Ryan Reynolds as "Captain Excellent" made me assume that it was a goofy, throw away movie that I probably wouldn't finish, and wouldn't remember

I couldn't have been more wrong. The story is compelling. The acting is brilliant. The cinematography is gorgeous.

I laughed, I cried. I saw parts of myself in several characters.

I love this movie.
December 8, 2016
Solid independent film with strong acting by Daniels, Stone and Kudrow. Reynolds chews the scenery just like the part calls for. On Blu-ray.
November 4, 2016
The one and only film that doesn't feel like Emma Stone is acting in front of a mirror.
October 3, 2016
One of those movies I've never heard of I found in the video store. Hoping it would be good but not knowing for sure. Pleasantly surprised it's about as good as you hope any unknown indie film can be just about.
½ July 8, 2016
A surprisingly heartfelt film. A movie about love in its many forms, holding on and knowing when to let go. The film does have its slow moments but you are able to keep watching and remain interested due to the moments of brilliant performances that touch the audience, led by Jeff Daniels and Emma Stone, sprinkled with bits of comedic relief from Ryan Reynolds. If you're in the mood for a quirky indie film that's slightly odd, a little bit weird but is centered around a strong message, then watch. Though the story tends to go down a weird road twisting around many indie film clichés, it ends in a place routed in knowing when to grow up. Paper Man makes you realize that life isn't always as horrible as we make it out to be and as long as you spend it with the ones who make you happy, even if that's yourself....Doesn't hurt to have Ryan Reynolds as your imaginary super hero sidekick either
½ April 29, 2016
Earnest and occasionally inventive but very muddled and overly somber quirky indie dramedy.
½ April 28, 2016
The acting is great but the pacing is a bit uneven. The plot is a bit awkward in places but this is a decent enough, gentle film that has something to say about friendship, emotional growth and starting afresh.
April 18, 2016
â??Paper Manâ?? is far from perfect, but it holds your interest as a character study because of strong performances by Daniels and Stone.
December 8, 2015
Well it's definitely the best I've seen Emma Stone. And the movie is only really interesting for the last half hour.
½ October 30, 2015
A writer with a writers block is taking some time away from his wife as she stays in the city, while he concentrates on his new book, getting peace at a cabin near a smaller town. He lacks inspiration, but he get's to know a younger lady named Abby.

Super performances by a very interesting cast. Emma Stone owns every second of her screen time. She is mysterious and interesting and not only character-wise. Impressive. The rest of the crew is also doing a good job. The imaginary characters are presented nicely. It's not stupid or overdone.
Neat soundtrack, great dialogues.

Touching and humorus. The first part is the funnier part and I feel it got a long build up that goes in the wrong direction. At that point I felt I was watching a mediocre film. The last 15 minutes or so are lifting it a whole lot.

A film with many aspects and touches. It's rather open for interpretation.
Sentimental and overlooked little gem. Not a fantastic film, but much better than you might think. It's about friendships, dreams, dealing with the truth, letting go and hope. Much to digest, but served on a pretty dish.

7.5 out of 10 soups.
September 23, 2015
The overwritten and only semi-cute dramedy is not a plausible film, but its characters and their interactions feel plausible. Perhaps (on paper) this film holds more weight than when translated to the screen.
August 19, 2015
Slow moving. Probably would like it if it was a comedy about an aging man and his imaginary friend, Captain Excellence, but that is not what this is.
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