Saturday, October 17, 2009

London Film Fest Day 4 - PAPER HEART

PAPER HEART is a new mockumentary from alleged US comedienne Charlyne Yi. It's meant to be about Yi's inability to fall in love and comes complete with interviews with happily married old folk and a staged romance with Michael Cera spoofing himself as the typically awkward lover.

The documentary is interminable largely because Charlyne Yi is intolerable. Her stage/screen persona as this infantile, carefully unwashed meant-to-be cute little sprite just pissed me off. If you think Zooey Deschanel lives at the extreme of Kooky think again. Yi's self-conscious Sundance retard lo-fi film-making is one step beyond. I mean, for crying out loud, she has fake super-six love-montages and things-to-make-and-do puppet scenes!

At a superficial level, PAPER HEART fails as a rom-com because the conceit of actors playing themselves works as a distancing device. At a secondary level, PAPER HEART fails as a spoof of documentary film-making (although the relationship with "Cera" does flounder as the "director" stages love scenes). The spoof fails because Yi's stage persona is already so contrived.

I left the movie dumbfounded at Yi's succes to date. She didn't demonstrate any skill as a decent stand-up. So I wiki'd her in the few moments before the 44 INCH CHEST premiere. I was delighted to discover that, apparently, SNL has already spoofed Yi. So, give it up girl. It's already been done.

PAPER HEART played Sundance and London 2009. It was released in the US and Canada in August. It is currently on release in Singapore and will be released in the UK on November 13th.

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