Paper Man


Paper Man (2010)


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Movie Info

Paper Man is a comedic drama about an unlikely friendship between Richard, a failed middle-aged novelist who has never quite grown up and Abby, a 17-year-old girl whose role in a family tragedy years earlier has stolen away her youth. Richard has moved to a Long Island beach community for the winter season in order to overcome his writer's block. There, he meets Abby and hires her as a weekly babysitter, even though he has no children. As the season progresses and the warm, quirky friendship between Richard and Abby grows, the two begin to share with each other their dreams and life hardships. With the coming of spring, Richard and Abby discover there comes a time to let go of the imaginary friends of the past and to embrace the future.

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Critic Reviews for Paper Man

All Critics (31) | Top Critics (14)

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.

Jul 18, 2010 | Rating: 6.4/10 | Full Review…
Top 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.

Jun 30, 2010 | Rating: 2/4

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

May 28, 2010 | Full Review…

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

May 20, 2010 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

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 | Rating: C- | Full Review…

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

Apr 28, 2010 | Rating: B- | Full Review…

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.

Jim Hunter
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.

Manu Gino
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.

Cynthia S.
Cynthia S.

Super Reviewer

People and critics seemed to not like this movie, but I have had it on repeat for weeks now. I am head over heels in love with the cast and the direction. It is such a great movie. The music is also so top notch that I had to individually search out as many of the songs as I could and purchase them. A favorite at my house for many years to come.

Leigh Ryan
Leigh Ryan

Super Reviewer

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