Paper Heart (2009)



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

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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 in her love life -- which gets complicated when she starts dating fellow comedian Cera. This portion of the film is all narrative, and was written into the script, but also as part of the documentary, Yi travels the country interviewing various people about their opinions and experiences with love, and these portions of the film are real -- the interviewees are not actors. Melding truth and fantasy, Paper Heart uses equal parts comedy and realism to resolve the ultimate question of whether love is fact or fiction.
PG-13 (for some language)
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Charlyne Yi
as Charlene
Michael Cera
as Michael
Jake M. Johnson
as Nick Jasenovec
Jason Ritter
as Himself
Seth Rogen
as Himself
Demetri Martin
as Himself
Derek Waters
as Himself
Matthew Bass
as Himself
Martin Starr
as Himself
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News & Interviews for Paper Heart

Critic Reviews for Paper Heart

All Critics (107) | Top Critics (32)

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.

Full Review… | November 6, 2009
Time Out
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | August 20, 2009
Chicago Reader
Top 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.

Full Review… | August 19, 2009
Orlando Sentinel
Top 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
Miami Herald
Top 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
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Top 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.

Full Review… | August 11, 2009
Top Critic

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.

Manu Gino
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.

Melvin White
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.

Jennifer Xu
Jennifer Xu

Super Reviewer

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