Paper Heart Nicholas Jasenovec

Paper Heart Nicholas Jasenovec
Remember those optical illusions that were popular in the '90s, where if you put your nose up to them, stepped back and got yourself slightly cross-eyed you could see a 3-D image? Paper Heart is like one of those illusions: either you see the 3-D image, or, in this case, feel the emotion and appreciate the humour, or you don't. Either way, there's no arguing with your point of view, and the particularly subjective personal reaction that Paper Heart aims to provoke makes reviewing it a somewhat frustrating task. Comedian Charlyne Yi, who fears she is incapable of love, hosts this pseudo-documentary/mostly mockumentary, in which she travels across the United States, and detours into Canada, with director Nicholas Jasenovec (played by Jake M. Johnson and not the real Jasenovec), interviewing people about love, from famous comedians like Seth Rogen and Demetri Martin to small-town citizens. Things become complicated when she meets Michael Cera (playing himself) and they begin a tenuous courtship, although whether it's truly love remains ambiguous. Here's a question that might determine if this movie is for you: following several of her interviews with long-married couples, Yi re-enacts their falling-in-love stories in the form of paper puppet shows. Does this sound magical to you or like a desperately twee bit of faux-Michel Gondry? If you said yes to the former, perhaps you'll also find Yi utterly adorable, rather than irritating and sort of unlikable. This is definitely an intriguing film that's never boring and is even downright interesting in how it blurs the line between documentary and fiction. But intriguing doesn't necessarily equal satisfying, and as for my personal opinion, let's just say I didn't see the 3-D image. The DVD extras offer some insight into the unscripted production, as well as insight into Yi, whose off-screen personality seems virtually identical to her on-screen persona. Yi fans will be extra delighted by a selection of her live musical performances and an aggressively cutesy music video with her and Cera. (Anchor Bay)